NCAA Tournament for Dummies: terms, people and numbers to know ahead of March Madness
As the NCAA Tournament picks up, here are some terms to know for those new to the madness.
Terms to know:
Cinderella team: Similar to the fairytale character, this represents an underdog team that ends up being more successful than its expected tournament performance.
Sleeper/Dark Horse: These two are essentially the same. They refer to teams that aren’t expected to win, but still stand a chance of winning it all.
Mid-major: Used particularly in NCAA Division I college sports, schools that don’t fall within top tier conferences are assigned this title.
March Madness: Another term for the NCAA Tournament. People have called this time of year a time of craziness because of the unpredictability of the tournament.
The Big Dance: Theorized to play along with Cinderella teams, this is another way to talk about the tournament. It was coined by Marquette University head coach Al McGuire.
Bracket Buster: This is what you’d call the team that ruins your tournament bracket. It typically coincides with upsets.
Upset: Based on the seed, and expectation, this refers to a team that won against a team that was favored to win.
Seed: The teams eligible to play are divided into four groups of 16 and ranked. Each team receives a seed, or ranking, in the tournament.
At-large bid/berth: When a team is given an at-large berth, it is invited to the tournament as opposed to being automatically welcomed. These teams did not win their conference titles.
Automatic bid: Opposite of at-large berths, automatic bid teams are their conference winners and are placed into the tournament.
Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) - Coach K has led Duke to five national championships. He has served as the head coach for Duke University since 1980 and the team has had 12 Final Fours under him.
John Calipari - The head coach at the University of Kentucky since 2009, Calipari previously coached at two other universities. He is known for helping 39 players get drafted into the NBA.
Jim Nantz - When watching nationally televised football, basketball or golf, there is a good chance you are listening to this American sportscaster. He has been with CBS since 1985 and serves as the lead play-by-play college basketball announcer.
Grayson Allen - This college basketball player for Duke University has made a name for himself not only with his basketball talent, but by his tendency to trip his opponents during play.
Lonzo Ball - This freshman guard, a player for the UCLA Bruins, is projected to be selected in the NBA draft. Wearing No. 2 for the team, Ball received national recognition for his high school playing performance.
68 - Brackets will be made up of 64 teams, but four of the teams have to compete for their spot in the tournament in play-in games.
32 - During the second round of play, 32 teams are knocked out in the first round and 32 are still in.
16 - Nicknamed Sweet 16, the teams that have made it this far won their first and second games.
4 - The Final Four teams standing will compete in their respective region to play in the final game for the title.