On March 11, 2020, it was formally announced by the NCAA that fans will be banned from attending both the men’s and women’s tournaments. This was followed by the NBA suspending the season due to a player being diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The following day, March 12, 2020, the NCAA followed the NBA's lead and announced it was also suspending the tournament. These unprecedented decisions come amid the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus a pandemic. Due to the alarming rate at which the virus is spreading and that it causes severe illness or death, it’s no wonder the NCAA and NBA have taken this so seriously.
Social distancing seems to be the new norm for now.
In the meantime, let's give a throwback to where it all started...
A little NCAA History
Every year, basketball fans all over the United States look forward to the March Madness basketball tournament. March Madness aka Division I men’s basketball tournament involves 68 teams that participate in a single-elimination tournament.
These teams from across the nation compete for the national championship in seven rounds. The Final Four, which is the penultimate round, leaves only the four surviving teams to compete for the championship.
The first March Madness basketball tournament was held in 1939, with the inaugural tournament only involving the participation of eight teams. The teams were up to 16 in 1951, and then expanded until 1985, when 64 teams participated. Sixty-five teams participated in 2001, and then three more teams played beginning 2011.
In 1939, Henry V. Porter – a high school official from Illinois – used the term ‘March Madness’ to refer to the tournament. ‘March Madness’ only became a byword during the 1982 basketball tournament when Brent Musburger (a CBS broadcaster) used it in his coverage, and the rest is history!
Past Winning Teams
Thirty-six teams have won a March Madness championship since 1939. However, UCLA has the most number of tournament wins with 11, with 10 crowns won between 1964 and 1975.
Kentucky won a total of 8 tournaments, North Carolina won 6 tournaments, and Duke won 5.
The Virginia Cavaliers won for the first time, after grabbing the 2019 championship.
Who was projected to take the 2020 Championship?
This year, Kansas continues to hold on to the No. 1 spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll. Florida State, which is in 4th place, has enjoyed its highest rank in nearly 50 years. Gonzaga and Dayton are in the 3rd and 4th places, respectively. Dayton’s jump to the 1-seed line makes them the East’s top seed. These teams are clearly packed full of all-star players.
Our pick was Dayton going all the way!