The month is upon us. March brings us warmer temperatures, our favorite Irish holiday and the peak of NCAA excitement. Come March 18, it’s all basketball as we watch the nation’s top seeds take the court during another month of the Big Dance. The fan dedication and buildup are unmatched in the realm of collegiate sporting competition, and as February melts into March, basketball fans are chomping at the bit for another dose of buzzer-beaters, breakout superstars and who might smash the bracket.
In 1939, the Madness was created with only 8 teams competing for the National Championship. The single-elimination playoffs began on March 17, and ended 10 days later with the championship game at Patten Gymnasium on Northwestern’s campus. Oregon took the victory over Ohio State.
The tradition continues this year with 68 teams battling for No. 1, all leading up to the Championship on April 7 in Arlington, Texas at the AT&T Stadium.
Are you an MM connoisseur? Test your knowledge with a quick trivia quiz below!
1. True or false: You have a better chance of winning the Powerball than you do at guessing a perfect bracket.
2. In addition to the victorious coach taking scissors to the net, what take-home keepsake is the winning team awarded?
3. What superstar trick was banned in 1967 for nearly 10 years?
4. What team appeared in the final four 7 times in 9 years, from 86-94?
5. Who holds the record for the most points scored in a single tournament game?
6. What school holds the most NCAA Championship Titles?
7. During the 90s, what well-known name did Arkansas deem its high-pressure defense?
8. In 1980, what nickname did Denny Crum and his Louisville Cardinals earn for their exciting game style?
9. Who is the only coach in history to win titles in both the NCAA and NBA?
10. In 1985, this conference was the first to see 3 teams in the Final Four.
1. Shockingly, the answer is true! With a grand total of 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible brackets, basketball patrons have a better chance of taking home the big lottery $$.
2. Since 1986, the winning team is given the hardwood court that they won the game on, to do with what they see fit.
3. The Slam Dunk was considered to be “too aggressive” for college ball, but to the joy of fans, was reinstated in 1976.
4. Duke reigned the land in the 9 year span with 7 Final Four showings, four title games and 2 championships.
5. In a 1970 matchup between Notre Dame and Ohio, Austin Carr scored a record-making 61 points. He holds that record today.
6. UCLA holds the record with 11.
7. Arkansas dubbed it’s intense up-tempo defense “40 Minutes of Hell.”
8. The Doctors of Dunk.
9. Larry Bird led Kansas to a NCAA Championship in 1988, and Detroit to an NBA title in 2004.
10. The Big East, with Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s.