Each March, America is overcome by “madness”. Throughout the country, sports fans, both casual and hard-core, focus their attention on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In bars and bakeries, at the dinner table and over phone lines, people catch the madness. Office pools are organized and parties are thrown as television screens everywhere are tuned to “The Big Dance”, as teams from Boise to Bloomington, Athens, Georgia to Athens, Ohio and New York to New Mexico compete for the national championship. Over three consecutive weekends, the original field of 68 teams is whittled down to one, crowned NCAA National Champion the Monday evening following Final Four Weekend.
Dubbed “March Madness” for the unpredictable nature of the contests as well as its’ catchy commercial ring, it is the perfect television event. Longer than the Super Bowl’s one day, one game extravaganza, shorter than the three month marathons that are the NBA and NHL playoffs, and more inclusive than the World Series, where only two cities are represented, it has captivated our nation’s televised sports consciousness as no other event.
Another reason it is so popular is because anyone and everyone, regardless of their interest in or knowledge of college basketball can participate in selecting tournament brackets as part of NCAA Tournament “pools” and contests. And the beauty of that is that it’s not always the “experts” who get it right. Here’s a perfect example. In the clip below, my niece, Joy Gerdy-Zogby reveals her method for being in the group of less than one percent who selected all four of the Final Four teams. This is funny stuff. Check it out!