Some interesting tidbits on the Madness that is March Madness
The Big Dance, March Madness, the Field of 68, whatever you call it, it’s definitely one of the most interesting sports tournaments in the U.S., if not the world. 68 college basketball teams are scrutinized, speculated, and seeded into 4 regions; The East, South, Midwest and West. After the teams get ranked from 1-16 and face each other in a single elimination college basketball tournament, only one team is eventually crowned the NCAA tournament champion. The tournament is really popular and is shown on 4 TV stations, CBS, TNT, TBS and TRUTV, live. Last year, the tournament had its best ratings in over 19 years with over 10.7 television viewers tuning in to watch! Viewership is not the only thing that is popular with fans of the NCAA tournament, what’s also popular you say? Betting, and a lot of it; Over 12 billion dollars will be bet on all of the NCAA tournament games, that’s 2 billion dollars more than gets bet on the Super Bowl. One of the reasons the viewership has gone up, In my opinion, is the availability of the games. Back as late as 3-4 years ago, you couldn’t see all of the games, because CBS would only broadcast the games on their main channel. CBS would also only show some games on one other channel, like ESPN. However, CBS fine tuned this arrangement and has spread all of the NCAA tournament games over 4 readily available cable channels, the aforementioned CBS, TNT, TBS and TRUTV. Another interesting aspect is the internet. Fans can login to http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness and watch all the games on their computer as long as they have an internet connection, this brings even more viewership and excitement in.
This year’s Final Four and East Regional
The Eastern Regional is at Madison Square Garden March 28 and 30th. This is the first time that MSG has been used as an NCAA Tournament venue and the first time in 63 years that tournament games have been held in New York City. This year’s Final Four will be held in Arlington, TX at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. This is also the only the 2nd time in over 25 years the NCAA Final Four has been held near Dallas; last time was 1986. The Court will be set up in the center of the enormous stadium and will feature 4 of the remaining teams of the 68 team NCAA Tournament. As of the writing of this article 16 teams remain including Florida, Kentucky, Wisconsin, San Diego State, Virginia, Stanford, Dayton, UConn, UCLA, Stanford, Michigan State, Iowa State, Arizona, Baylor, Louisville, and Tennessee.