As the March Madness Tournament bracket matchups were announced on Sunday, March 13 and with the play-in games beginning on Thursday, March 17, here are some things to know about March Madness that might increase fans’ hype even more.
Fans show such dedication and love for the game of college basketball, that according to news.iheart.com one in seven fans call in sick just to watch the tournament. As a grand total, Americans spend around 8.4 million hours watching the March Madness games each year.
When the phrase “March Madness” is heard among a crowd of people, one thing that comes to mind is the competition of filling out a perfect, winning bracket. Dreams of reaching perfectionism might be crushed, when fans are informed that the chances of filling out a perfect bracket is 1 in 18 quintillion. One is more likely to be mauled by a shark, than nail this thing. However, that statistic has not shown to bring much discouragement among fans. news.iheart.com also says that in one March Madness season, over 40 million brackets are filled out.
Fans are so confident with their brackets that March Madness betting has surpassed the Super Bowl as the biggest sports gambling event of the year. Around 3.5 billion dollars is spent on bracket pools each year, and 2.5 billion more will be bet illegally.
At the end of the season the coach of the winning team traditionally cuts the net from the rim. It’s a symbolic moment that caps off March Madness. Up until 1986, it was really all the NCAA allowed the team to keep. As of 1986, however, teams have been given the actual hardwood court they won the championships on, and they are free to do with it as they see fit. Some schools have repainted it and used the hardwood for their own home court, while others have sold the court in pieces, and others have done nothing at all.
In honor of the current tournament beginning, keep these interesting facts in mind all the way up to the Final Four and the crowning of the national champion. Those who haven’t engaged in the madness before, now is the time to indulge in the most watched and wagered-on annual sporting event in the United States.