The NCAA Men's Division
I Basketball Championship is held each spring featuring 65 of the
basketball teams in the
United States. The 20-day tournament, colloquially known as "March
Madness" or the Big Dance, has become one of the
country's most prominent sports events.
The tournament, whose field
includes regional conference champions and other top teams, is staged in
single elimination format. Since its 1939 inception, it has built a
legacy that includes dynasty teams and dramatic
underdog stories. In recent years, friendly
wagering on the event has become something of a national pastime,
spawning countless "office pools" that attract expert fans and novices
bracket is made up of champions from each
Division I conference, which receive automatic bids. The remaining
at-large berths, with teams chosen by an NCAA selection committee.
The selection process and tournament seedings are based on several
factors, including team rankings, win-loss records and
The two lowest-seeded teams
(usually the teams below .500 & the
champion) play a pre-tournament game to determine which will advance
into the first round of the tournament. This play-in game was added in
has been played
in Dayton, Ohio each subsequent year.
Most Outstanding Player honor is awarded by the
Associated Press at the end of each tournament.