So you want to follow March Madness, but you don't know anything about basketball? That's quite a pickle you've got yourself in. And it's a desperate soul who comes to a website that tracks celeb happenings for advice on sports. But here you are. And we will help you. Because we know that the most important thing about basketball is the ball. No, it's the players. Wait, no! It's almost definitely the net goal hoop thing.
Oh, we're kidding. We know a thing or two about March Madness and college basketball, so if you're a total noob and need a quick guide on what the hell is going on, you've come to the right place:
1. What is March Madness, exactly?
Google it, you lazy ass! No, we're joking. What if we were really like that? Anyway, March Madness is the nickname for the NCAA Men and Women's Division I Basketball Championship. It's single elimination, so one and done. You lose, you're out. Sixty-eight teams enter, and only one comes out as National Champions. The 68 teams include the 32 teams that won their conference tournament and 36 teams that were invited by a NCAA selection committee, called "at-large berths." That phrase sounds kind of gross, we know.
2. What's with the brackets?
You've been bugged to "fill out a bracket," haven't you? Ugh, those guys in the office are the worst. It's like, "Does that bracket come with free doughnuts? No? Then get out of my cubicle, Jerry!" But seriously, filling out those brackets can be fun and/or get you some money. Basically, people print out brackets with every game in the tournament, and you pick all the winners from each game. So, you're trying to predict who will be in the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and so on. That's why you'll hear some people complain after a game "Oh, man! That loss totally screwed up my bracket!" So, if one team loses and you chose them to go to the championship, you're screwed. Of course, there are different rules and bets and whatnot that can happen with these bracket predictions, but that varies by the person running the tournament.
3. Why do people get so involved in March Madness?
Because unlike professional sports, which is full of players doing it for the Benjamins or for their own ego, March Madness is full of teams and players doing it for school pride. There is always an underdog story about a school that is ranked last but manages to get really far in the tournament. And there's always more than one crazy upset. For example, today Mercer beat Duke 78 to 71 in the men's division, which was insane because Duke was heavily favored to win.
4. What do those little numbers next to the team name mean?
That's their rank going into the tournament. So, back to the Mercer-Duke game. Mercer was ranked 14 and Duke was ranked number 3. So, obviously it seemed like the higher-ranked team in the tournament would easily take out a team ranked 14th. Well, that's what's great about March Madness. You never know what will happen until the games are played.
5. Which teams should I be looking out for?
Well, the teams that are heavy favorites (according to websites that are only about sports and don't include article titles with the phrase "nip slip") are: Florida, Virginia and Wichita State on the men's side and on the women's side it's Connecticut, Notre Dame and Tennessee. As for Cinderella stories, keep tabs on VCU and Oregon in the men's tournament and in the women's tournament watch out for Texas A&M and North Carolina.
7. Which teams are you guys cheering for?
Gryffindor and the Indianapolis Colts. Go sports!