What is March Madness?
March Madness is the popular name given to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, held annually in the United States. The tournament features 68 college basketball teams from across the country, with the champion determined through a single-elimination tournament that takes place over a three-week period in March and April.
The tournament is known for its high-stakes and intense competition, as well as its unique format, which features a combination of automatic bids (awarded to conference champions) and at-large bids (awarded to the best remaining teams). The tournament begins with the First Four, in which the last four teams to make the field of 68 play in order to advance to the first round.
The tournament is also notable for its Cinderella stories, in which underdog teams unexpectedly make deep runs in the tournament. These teams often come from smaller conferences or were not expected to perform well in the tournament but have managed to upset higher-seeded teams and advance to the later rounds.
March Madness is one of the most popular and widely-watched sporting events in the United States. Millions of fans fill out brackets, making predictions on the tournament's outcome, and the tournament generates significant revenue for the NCAA and its member institutions.
In addition to the Men's tournament, the NCAA also holds a Women's Basketball tournament called the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament, often referred as "Women's March Madness" which follows the same format and structure as the Men's tournament.