The conclusion of the lads’s school basketball season is upon us and that may solely imply one factor: it’s time for the ‘Huge Dance.’

March Insanity has arrived and can pit the very best of the very best and a few overachieving “Cinderellas” duking it out for a possibility to be topped the NCAA males’s Division I school basketball champion.

Having initially started in 1939 – with the ladies’s version solely added in 1982 – it has grow to be a fixture of each sport fan’s calendar and is one to not be missed.

Not solely has it grow to be synonymous with shock outcomes and upsets, March Insanity has been the springboard for a lot of profitable NBA careers, together with the Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and Los Angeles Lakers massive man Anthony Davis.

Right here’s all it’s essential know in regards to the crescendo to the lads’s school basketball season.

The Virginia Cavaliers tip off against the UMBC Retrievers in the first round of the 2018 March Madness.

The method of whittling down 68 groups in Division I has pitfalls for groups round each nook.

The 32 computerized qualifying spots are stuffed by the groups which win every of the 32 conferences that make up Division I, whereas the opposite 36 can be chosen to “at-large” berths by the NCAA Choice Committee.

The Choice Committee will reveal the “at-large” groups as a part of your entire 68-team area on Choice Sunday, March 12.

The opening spherical of March Insanity known as the “First 4” which sees eight groups – the four-lowest seeded computerized qualifiers and the 4 lowest-seeded at-large groups – taking part in in 4 video games to resolve the ultimate spots of the bracket. The “at-large” groups face each other whereas the automated qualifiers tackle one another.

As soon as the 64 groups have been cemented, the primary and second rounds of March Insanity happen between March 16-19 throughout varied venues within the US.

The subsequent spherical of the match is the regional semifinals – colloquially known as the “Candy 16” – which sees the 16 remaining groups compete for a spot within the “Elite Eight” – the regional closing spherical.

The 4 groups which make it to the “Last 4” would be the winners of their respective regional bracket.

This 12 months’s “Last 4” spherical will happen on April 1 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

The 2 winners will advance to the NCAA championship recreation to be performed on the identical location on April 3, with the victor being topped nationwide champions.

Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua of the Baylor Bears completes the bracket after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 2021 National Championship game.

Because it was organized over 80 years in the past, March Insanity has grow to be well-known for some distinctive traditions.

Earlier than the motion will get underway, it’s customary for followers and even non-hoops followers to fill out a single elimination match bracket – a course of by which spectators attempt to predict the outcomes of each recreation, together with the eventual winner.

The method has been one thing folks from all walks of life have tried their hand at, from former US Presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush to Jimmy Fallon.

Additionally, you will possible see coaches and gamers from the final group standing reducing down the nets on the court docket.

The act of reducing down the nets off a basket – thought to have originated in Indiana highschool basketball in 1947 – has grow to be synonymous with celebration, specifically of a championship victory.

A North Carolina Tar Heels basketball player cuts a piece of the net during the 2017 March Madness.

There might be different factors all through the match the place groups deem it worthy to chop down the nets, whether or not it’s within the Last 4 or the Candy 16, however you’ll virtually undoubtedly see members from the 2023 nationwide champions reducing the nets down at NRG Stadium and conserving threads as a souvenirs.

March Insanity can also be well-known for its propensity for surprising upsets.

The elimination aspect of the match lends it to sudden outcomes when greater seeds topple decrease seeds. The unsung groups who topple notable packages are nicknamed “Cinderellas.” Through the years, there have been loads to thrill neutrals or to interrupt the hearts of bracket fanatics.

Final 12 months’s dream run got here from unheralded Saint Peter’s. With an enrollment of two,637 college students, the college, positioned in Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey, caught the eye of all when it grew to become the primary No. 15 seed to achieve the Elite Eight in NCAA match historical past, upsetting the No. 3 seed Purdue Boilermakers and No. 2 seed Kentucky the way in which.

Jaylen Murray and Latrell Reid of the St. Peter's Peacocks celebrate after defeating the Purdue Boilermakers in the Sweet Sixteen round game of the 2022 March Madness.

From No. 16 seed UMBC Retrievers beating No. 1 seed Virginia Cavaliers in 2018 – turning into the primary and solely No. 16 seed to defeat a primary seed – to Lehigh defeating school basketball powerhouse Duke – on the time, simply the sixth win for a No. 15 seed over a No. 2 – upsets are a part of the material of the annual insanity.

Whether or not it’s hoping for upsets, anticipating the drama, filling out brackets, or watching potential future NBA stars, March Insanity has one thing for us all.

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