Screamin Designs – A look at March Madness by a rookie… If you have ever wondered how teams go from First to the Final Four in March Madness – here is a little help to get through the maze. Here at Screamin Designs, we are ready for March Madness, just like the rest of the country. So we thought in the spirit of spring we would try to add a little information and a little science to help you move through the “madness”. This series is not about the “teams” but the process and how it all works or doesn’t as the case may be. So stay tuned, stay sane and have a good time!!
At Screamin Designs we are committed to our sports enthusiasts! With March Madness close at hand we thought this would be a great opportunity to give you a little history, information and help on how the teams get selected for the First Four to the Final Four. This will be a 5 part series, so be sure to look for each installment. The average person thinks that spring means warmer weather, spring break, and the end of winter. This is especially true for those who spend their winter’s shoveling snow. For basketball lovers none of these are relevant. This portion of the population is anxiously awaiting the start of March Madness!! It’s time for final games in the regular season, polls, selections, seeds, and filling out brackets. For basketball enthusiasts it’s time to do their own polls, selections, seeds and joining basketball pools on who correctly chooses the “right” final four and champion! It is also a time of joy and glee, with angst and irritation. So read on and you might find a few tips to help. At least you’ll be better armed with knowledge of how it all works. Good luck with choosing the winner. But in order to go forward, let’s look back at how it all started.
What began as an annual high school boys’ basketball tournament has morphed into a college tournament viewed by millions. It began with just a few teams from Illinois in 1908 to more than 900 schools by the late 1930’s. The Sweet Sixteen was played at the University of Illinois’ Huff Gymnasium to sold out crowds. The “fever” started in Illinois, long before “madness” gripped the country. The phrase “March Madness” was coined by Henry V. Porter, assistant executive secretary of the Illinois High School Association. He was so impressed by the phenomenon; he wrote an essay to commemorate it. Entitled “March Madness,” it first appeared in the Illinois Interscholastic, the IHSA’s magazine, in 1939. Beginning in 1973, the IHSA began using the term officially in its programs and on its merchandise. In 1977, the organization enlisted veteran Chicago sportswriter and Big Ten basketball referee Jim Enright to write the official history of the boys’ basketball tournament. The result was March Madness: The Story of High School Basketball in Illinois. However, the NCAA credited Bob Walsh, of the Seattle Organizing Committee, with the first celebration in 1984. But since the first championship was played in 1939, and the name “March Madness” became officially used in 1973, it seems the NCAA might be a little “late to the party”!! Regardless, no matter who named it, it has grown to an astounding frenzy by fans everywhere. It starts with the end of the season numbers and moves to a complicated process of the team’s selection. The televising of the games is one of the reasons for its phenomenal growth. Once the games began to be televised in 1969, it was no longer just a “local” event. Initially, it was only partially shown on television but since 2011, all the games are shown nationwide and internationally. This is another reason for the tremendous growth in revenue, which registers in the billions!! Yes, I said billions, not millions!! Even the team’s selection is shown on Selection Sunday!