Now that it is officially March we can look forward to March Madness. March madness is the end of the season tournament for men's college basketball. It consists of 68 teams who play in a single elimination tournament with one winner at the end. This year's Men's College Basketball tournament is very anticipated because of last year's tournament getting cancelled due to Covid-19. This tournament brings in a ton of money and is very important to the schools. This is considered the biggest sporting event in America. Every year millions of people make their own brackets trying to predict who will win each game and ultimately who will win the tournament. On Sunday, the NCAA will announce which 68 teams will be invited to play in its men's basketball tournament, set for later this month. The event, known as Selection Sunday, will be broadcast at 6 p.m. EST on CBS. The teams participating in March Madness will secure their spot in one of two ways — by winning their conference's postseason tournament, giving them an automatic invite, or by being picked by the selection committee, the NCAA explains on its website. The committee, made up of 10 members, will meet on Sunday and will also decide on the tournament's seeding and bracketing.
The main reason March Madness is so popular is because of the brackets. People make their own bracket picking the teams that they think will win. You can do it for fun, or bet money on who has the most accurate bracket. The 68-team tournament bracket provides the most random set of match-ups and most number of teams playing for one prize in such a short time, which makes it so exciting. Even if your bracket is clean or messed up, you're still going to be hooked to the tournament. Who knows? You may be cheering for the remaining teams or cheering against the team that busted your bracket. You become glued not only to the teams you're a fan of, you start caring about every single score. Another reason why March Madness is so popular is the “Cinderella Story”. Unlike any other sporting event, Cinderella teams are almost a guarantee in NCAA March Madness. Every year, there is always a team(s) that nobody has heard of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament. It shows that anything can happen in college basketball. Since it is a single game elimination tournament, big teams always have a chance of being early exits.
March Madness also brings in a ton of revenue. March Madness is the main funding for almost all of the schools athletic programs, this is why it was such a big deal getting cancelled last year. Basically, March Madness is the NCAA’s bread and butter. In 2019, college athletics’ governing body earned $1.05 billion in revenue from the tournament, representing more than
90% of its annual revenue. Now this money has to be divided into conferences and schools. This year, 68 teams got an invitation to play in the tournament. Each of those team’s conferences will get a piece of a pot of money known as the basketball fund. The basketball fund was nearly $170 million in 2019, equating to about 20% of the TV ad money received by the NCAA. For each game a team plays, its conference gets a payout, which is based on their performance over a six-year rolling period. Conferences get “units” for their tournament participation, which each unit equates to about $280,000 for the 2019 tournament. If a team makes it all the way to the final game, it can earn as many as five units. If a team makes the final game from the first-four bracket, it could earn a total of six units. So the NCAA makes a lot of money, but it is spread out to the conference based on how well they perform in the tournament.