The month of March signals that spring is on the way and the flowers will begin to bloom. We will be able to leave our homes without our boots and gloves. The term “wind chill” will be in our rearview mirror.

March also begins a truly American tradition called “March Madness.” Basketballs will be bouncing non-stop as we the fans enjoy all the tournament action.

According to well-documented reports, the term March Madness was first used in reference to basketball in 1939 by Henry V. Porter, an Illinois high school official. The NCAA didn’t use March Madness until legendary sportscaster Brent Musburger used it during the 1982 tournament. I was honored to have taken a picture with him some years ago.

No other sporting event rises to the level of March Madness. To compare it to something else, in my opinion, is quite debatable. Some will opine that the Super Bowl is a big event, while others will say that the NBA Finals top their list. Both events, along with the World Series for baseball and Wimbledon for tennis, certainly have a place on everyone’s scoreboard. But March Madness has a different ring to it. 

It even has a set of terms that go along with the event. On the bubble, bracketology, buzzer-beaters are all terms that you hear associated with March Madness. Others include going to the big dance, the last four in, and the last four out. 

Part of the March Madness vocabulary is the term Final Four. Ed Chay, a sportswriter, coined the term in 1975. Of course, the NCAA has now trademarked the term.

Get familiar with these terms because for the next three weeks, you will be hearing them a lot.

ESPN has Joe Lunardi who, again in my opinion, has become a March Madness guru and somewhat of a sports prophet. In a funny and humorous way, he only comes out during this time of year. During March Madness, he is on ESPN every day, talking about the selections or other media personalities are quoting him.

A little-known fact about him is that he is credited with creating the term bracketology.

There will be 68 men’s and women’s teams playing in the NCAA Division I basketball tournament. The selection shows were held on Sunday, Mar. 12, and televised on CBS and ESPN. I have watched the selection shows for many years, and I don’t grow weary of them.

Happiness is just spontaneous when you see young student-athletes going bananas when they know they are going “dancing.” I would guess these moments of joy will be etched in their hearts and minds forever. Some moments are so wonderful in a college athlete’s career that they will always be cherished. I humbly submit that I have had a few of those moments.

The 12-person NCAA-appointed committee has made its selections. The number 1 overall seed for men is Alabama and the overall number 1 seed for women is South Carolina.

Sports shows will dissect each team, with coaches and players being interviewed for their perspectives. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Critics will say that if your team made it to March Madness, then you are a pretty good coach. I agree.

The season is over for some teams and just beginning for other teams. That is the ecstasy and agony of March.

Bobby Hurley, one-time guard for Duke and now the coach of Arizona State, said recently that he had never gone to the National Invitational Tournament and doesn’t want to start now. The committee must have heard him. Arizona State is a part of March Madness.

Have you gotten your bracket completed yet? Some folks have two or three of them.

Now it’s time to enjoy the drama and the upsets. Upsets are what make March Madness so much fun to watch because, at the beginning, every team has a chance.

Who will be the last team standing? That is the question on the court.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *