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Understanding “March Madness”

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At this time every year, the sports news is all about March madness. This phenomenon dominates radio and television and also occupies space in daily newspapers as well. What is it all about?

March Madness is the elimination process of the best college basketball teams in the country. Ultimately, it results in finding the best team who will rule as the champion in NCAA. It is a popular event that people all over the country gets involved by filling out brackets with the teams they think will compete with each other, and who will win, lose and become the ultimate champion.

This event happens during the lean months of the year between the end of the football and start of the baseball seasons. It is a saving grace for sports fans who like to have a team they will constantly cheer for. March Madness is a form of recreation that family members and office workers have fun waging bets on their personal choices.

The 65 slots are called brackets which must be filled with your choice of teams. The first 30 slots are instantly given to teams that won their own specific conferences. Another automatic choice is the team who won in the Ivy League Division because they do not join the conference play. There are 34 slots remaining which are given to teams that are qualified by a panel made of 10 officials who select the choices based on their quality of wins, RPI or Ratings Percentage Index and degree of difficulty of schedule. The RPI is a complex formula that assesses the various teams according to their winning percentages, their rival’s opponent’s average winning percentages and their opponent’s winning percentages. Once these percentages are computed, the team with the highest RPI are chosen as the best teams.

As March Madness weeks progress, most teams lose and get removed resulting to just 4 teams left. These teams continue in the play-off until it results to the winning team who will be crowned as NCAA champion. Several college teams dream to get this honor and millions of fans are excited to watch this happen.

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