FOR THE WEEK OF MAR. 12, 2012
With 68 teams picked, March Madness will bounce through the rest of this month
Select a NCAA Tournament article of interest and tell why you picked it.
Like the Super Bowl, the tournament has an impact beyond sports. Find March Madness coverage in other sections, such as business, entertainment or lifestyle.
It can be tough for a new fan to understand tournament jargon. Are most reports today clear? Are details explained and any unfamiliar terms defined?
College basketball "madness" begins Tuesday with first-round elimination games in the NCAA men's basketball tournament -- a three-week ritual that fills social media, conversations, office betting pools and arenas in each region of the county. "March Madness is our annual endurance test to see how many hours of college basketball one nation can watch on TV," Greg Connors wrote Sunday in the Buffalo News. Every game is available, in high definition, on either CBS, TBS, TNT or truTV -- plus via online streaming, of course.
Thirty-one Division I teams gained automatic spots in the tournament by winning their conference titles this past weekend or earlier. Harvard, which got in that way this time, is making its first appearance in 66 years. (See video below.) A NCAA committee Sunday night announced at-large selections for 37 more teams. Excitement is generated partly by rooting for local or home state teams, or schools attended by friends or family members. Interest also flows from the live-action drama of underdog triumphs and long-shot victories at the final buzzer. With 33 games, a David-beats-Goliath surprise happens most years.
The madness, as it's called, culminates with Final Four semifinal and final games that begin March 31 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, home of the NFL's Saints. The NCAA women's tournament, with selections announced Monday, runs through an April 1-3 championship series in Denver. Off the court, the tournament is a big business, generating more than 95 percent of yearly revenue for the National Collegiate Athletic Association from broadcast rights, a share of ticket fees, sponsorships and merchandise sales.
Blogger says: "An amazing aspect of the tournament is the upsets that catch everyone off-guard and shock the sport. Nothing feels quite like watching a No. 1 seed lose in the first round." -- Donald Wood, BleacherReport.com columnist
Player says: "People I didn’t know were stopping to congratulate me. My teachers were sending me emails asking about the NCAA tournament." -- Oliver McNally, Harvard senior and team co-captain
What are brackets? The NCAA pairs teams against each other in the tournament’s opening rounds based on their records this season and other factors. Those pairings, displayed on a chart printed and posted by newspapers, are known as brackets. This year's were revealed Sunday night.
Front Page Talking Points
is written by
Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment
Front Page Talking Points Archive
►Fresh population figures show the changing face of America
►U.S. scrutiny of online communication and calls stirs debate over snooping vs. security
►Facebook draws the line: Hateful, nasty posts about women are out of bounds
►Summer brings movie lineup of superheroes, zombies, sci-fi and comedies
►Federal safety board urges tougher drinking-and-driving cutoff limit to match other nations
►Northeast braces for noisy invasion: Flying cicada bugs return after hiding for 17 years
►U.S. military prison at Guantanamo, Cuba, remains a tricky problem for President Obama
►Doctors warn about serious health risks from 'The Cinnamon Challenge' video craze
►Earth Day on April 22 focuses attention on how we can protect the natural environment
►Thousands of past players take on the National Football League over brain injuries