Cinderella team? Sweet Sixteen? A lot of the lingo sounds suspiciously girlie, but don’t be fooled: It’s all college b’ball double talk. And, since every office pool in existence will be obsessed with this event clear through April Fool’s Day, here’s what you need to know to talk tournie with the best.
March Madness (aka, the Big Dance): Men’s and women’s college basketball finals, during which 65 teams qualify for a tournament played during March and April. The national semifinals (see: Final Four) has become one of the most prominent sporting events in the U.S.
H.V. Porter: Arguably the first to use the term March Madness to refer to basketball. Porter was an official with the Illinois High School Association (and a later basketball hall of famer) who coined it in an essay of the same name, which he penned in 1939.
Brent Musburger: CBS commentator regarded as the first to have used the term March Madness to refer to the college tournament specifically, during the CBS coverage in 1982.
Cinderella Team: An underdog team which advances further in the tournament than anyone expected. No fairy godmother involved, that we know of.
The Brackets: procedure used to track teams’ progression through the tournament.
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