Basketball has become so much more interesting in the United States since 2018. Why? Because sports betting was legalized in multiple states. Now, fans of professional basketball teams, mainly the NBA ones, can bet on quite a lot of matches, finally being able to legally support their team, and themselves, should the said teams happen to win.
On the other side, you have college basketball, divided into 3 tiers. The first and top tier is called the NCAA March Madness, because all of the matches take place in March, except the final 4. Speaking of which, betting on the Final 4 (the final 4 teams in the tournament) is a favorite of many punters today.
The March Madness is a very interesting tournament which takes place every spring, and is a very entertaining and competitive tournament between various universities of the United States.
The NCAA March Madness – A Brief History
The March Madness came to be in 1939, due to Harold Olsen’s idea. It is a single match elimination tournament which pits 64 of the 1st tier teams against one another. It all takes place during March and the first week of April. The matches take place on weekends, except for the First 4. There are actually 68 teams, and the first four are the lowest ranked seeds, automatic ones and at large ones, which battle it out for entering the actual first round, also called the Round of 64.
Actually, the teams are all divided into four regions, currently the South, Midwest, West and East. Each region has their own seeding, and some of them have more teams than others, leading to the First 4 matches. After the first round, comes the second round, also called the Round of 32. After that, the Sweet 16, or regional semi-finals take place, leading to the Elite 8, or regional finals. Then comes the most exciting part, or rather the Final 4, which are the top teams of each region, battling out in the semi-finals and finals of the tournament.
The 2019 NCAA March Madness
The 2019 March Madness went as expected. The First 4 were swiftly eliminated from the tournament, in the Round of 64. What is also interesting is that none of the first seeds from the regionals, except Virginia, made it to the Final 4. Two were eliminated in the Sweet 16 and two in the Elite 8. That left the first seed of South, Virginia, which took the title after beating Texas Tech, the third seed of West. The Final 4 has the first seed from South, the second seed from East, Michigan State, the fifth seed from Midwest, Auburn, and the third seed from West, Texas Tech. Given Virginia’s dominant performance at the tournament, the results were not surprising, minus a couple of the first seeds getting knocked out in the Sweet 16, and Auburn making it to the finals.
The 2019 March Madness has its champion, Virginia. Who will take the throne next year remains to be seen. College basketball is very dynamic.