Since 1939, the NCAA D1 [Division 1] Men’s Basketball Championship, known as March Madness, has been one of the most watched sports tournaments. In 2015, the NCAA tournament had an average of 11.3 million total viewers.
The single elimination tournament originally hosted 8 teams, but has grown to host 64 participating teams. UCLA has won 11 titles, and Kentucky follows behind with 8, while Villanova took the 2016 title. This year’s teams are so close that predicting becomes even more complicated. According to NCAA Bracketology, this year’s top four picks are Gonzaga, Villanova, Kansas and Baylor. Some participate and bet money, while others just like the competition. There has never been an authentic perfectly completed bracket recorded, as the odds are more than 9-quintillion to 1. These terrible odds do not stop the 40 million Americans from creating an average of 2 brackets each year.
“It’s a family tradition to create brackets. I also have some pretty intense competitions with my friends,” Matthew Brindle ‘18 said.
Selection Sunday was on Mar. 12 followed by 9 games until Regionals on Mar. 23-26. The Final Four play in Phoenix on April 1 and April 3. This year for the brackets they have added a new way of creating and scoring points. The new scoring system allows for upsets to count for more points than the traditional bracket would; the larger the upset, the more points the participants receive.