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Entertainment, News|March 16, 2011 2:43 pm

2011 March Madness is Here: The Facts, the Teams, and the Champs

The first day of Spring and St. Patrick’s Day are both this week, which means brackets across the country are being filled out and March Madness is in the air.   Even President Obama got in on the action choosing all the number one seeds, which we all know is not recommended by any bracketologist.  Before we reveal our picks at iPlan Magazine, we wanted to dive into the history of March Madness the terms, the teams, and the champs.

First things first, it is important to realize that March Madness is a term that refers to both the Men and Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) basketball tournament that is held annually in the month of March.  The tournament consists of 64 teams that have either won their conference title or were selected by the NCAA selection committee.

The 64 teams are divided into four regions (North, South, East, West).  Each region consists of 16 teams.  The bracket format calls for the highest seed to play the lowest seed.  For example, the number 1 plays number 16, number 2 plays number 15 and so on.  This format is used in all four regions.  After the first round, 32 teams will remain.  The 32 teams will play against each other to trim the competition down to the “Sweet Sixteen.”  Again they play with the winners advancing to the “Elite Eight.”  The last four teams standing play in the Final Four to determine who plays for the NCAA championship.  Although the bulk of the tournament takes place in March, the championship game is usually played in early April.  A team must win 6 consecutive games in order to win the NCAA tournament, not counting having an impeccable season record and possibly winning their conference title.

The term “March Madness” derives from an article written by Henry V. Porter in 1939.  Oddly enough, the article he wrote was not geared for college athletics but instead for the high school basketball tournaments in Illinois.  Porter wrote, “A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.”  NCAA tournament broadcast announcer Brent Musburger first used the term March Madness in 1982 and the term just grew from there.

The Men’s teams with the most NCAA championship wins are:

1. UCLA Bruins – With 11 championships under the legendary coach John Wooden, the Bruins hold the record for consecutive titles with 7.

2. University of Kentucky – UK holds the record for NCAA tournament appearances with 51, so it is just statistically understandable that they are second in most wins with 7.

3. North Carolina & University of Indiana -  Both UNC and IU have won the title 5 times apiece.  UNC produced arguably the most important basketball player ever to play the game, Michael Jordan.   On the other hand, IU had arguably the most intimidating coach of all time, Bobby Knight.

4. Duke University – The Blue Devils have won 4 championships.  With the combination of being in the tournament again this year and having the high school player of the year (Austin Rivers) committing to play under Michael Krzyzewski next year, Duke is sure to move up the list soon.  Check out Austin Rivers, son of Doc Rivers, and the rest of this year’s incoming high school players at:

5. University of Kansas -  Kansas has 3 titles, but ranks first in historical facts about the game of b-ball out of all teams on the list.  The first coach of Kansas was James Naismith who is credited with inventing the sport of basketball and Wilt Chamberlain started his basketball career as a Jayhawk.

6. Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Louisville, Michigan State, NC State, Oklahoma State, and San Francisco - all have 2 championship titles apiece

The Women’s teams with the most NCAA Championships since 1982:

1. University of Tennessee and University of Connecticut - Both teams have 7 championship titles apiece and have produced some of the best basketball programs in the history of the sport.

2. Louisiana Tech & USC – Both programs have 2 championship titles.

3. Maryland, Baylor, Notre Dame, Purdue, University of North Carolina, Texas Tech, Stanford, University of Texas, and Old Dominion -  All these teams share 1 championship apiece.

2011 Men’s NCAA Tournament Bracket iPlan Magazine:

Below check out the best highlights from NCAA history:

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