Basketball Brackets and Coaching Tactics: March Madness.

A look into the system of the NCAA D1 collegiate basketball tournament.

Patrick Ruddy
Staff Writer

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For years, division one college basketball has become an increasingly popular televised sport. From the scorching summer scrimmages and practices all the way to the early days of April, college athletes wage war on opposing schools. Though all teams face fears, tears and trials, only sixty-four colleges in the nation make it to the end of the year tournament known as March Madness.

March Madness was conceived in Illinois in 1908, according to ihsa.org. Though the term is generally associated with basketball on the collegiate level, in the original days this was used for a high school basketball tournament. In the years to follow, March Madness grew into the hard-nosed basketball games that everyone enjoys today.

For these sixty-four teams that make the cut, they are divided into four categories containing sixteen teams in each. These four categories are regions of the United States and usually are named based on where the city for the region will be hosted. For example, last year the regions were South (Arlington, Texas), West (Los Angles), East (Washington, D.C), and Mid-West (Indianapolis, Illinois).  As of March 10th, the power rankings of the brackets are not yet set in stone due to the Conference Tournaments that have yet to be played.

This year, the eight most likely teams to win the championship are as follows: Iowa State, Michigan State, Arizona, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Kentucky, Kansas, and Florida, or at least that is what Sports Illustrated writer Luke Winn claims. Though there are no true favored teams yet, every one of them has their own strengths and weaknesses that they will bring to the table this year. Arizona has an outstanding defense with an elite offense to boot.  On the complete other end of the spectrum, Wisconsin possesses killer offensive skills and with a lesser but still very much efficient defense. Some teams have faced troublesome times, since both Florida and Michigan State have endured through some injuries throughout the season. As for the other schools mentioned, their chances of winning vary slightly, yet every team is certainly in the running.

Whether or not someone is a fan of basketball, this time of year is always exciting in the sports world. So in these next weeks to follow, grab a beer and a spot in front of the television, because this end of the year tournament is looking to shape up to be one ball of a time.

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