What You Need to Know About March Madness

March Madness has nothing to do with the preparations for spring break, daylong drinking holidays like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, or studying for midterms. It is about the best three weeks of any sport — the NCAA Tournament. The best of college basketball. Even if you’ve never watched a single minute of any game all season, you can still enjoy the Big Dance. It may be the only thing your friends are talking about the next few weeks so it may be a good idea to learn some important terms.

  • Sweet 16/ Elite 8 / Final Four – These are the names of different rounds of the tournament. Throw out these phrases and you may be able to impress some of the testosterone-driven so much they may remove themselves from their TV screens. It’s a long shot, but it couldn’t hurt.
  • Bracket – Bracket, bracket, bracket. You’ve definitely heard this word A LOT this week. March Madness is a huge gambling event. People pick their choices to win every game. There is absolutely no science behind this. (I know people who make their picks based on school name, mascot and the uniform colors.) It may be too late to input an official bracket, but you can print one at ESPN or Yahoo Sports and make your own picks for the rest of the games.
  • Bracket Buster – The upset game that ruins everyone’s brackets and their chances at a large pool of money. This may mean nothing to you now but Morehead State beating Louisville made a lot of people really, really angry. Think about it as the higher number seed (the worse team) beating the better team (the lower seed). After a really big upset you can say that your bracket is “busted.”
  • Kemba Walker – One of the star players on the UConn team and sometimes referred to as King Kemba. Think, Michael Jordan. He is gorgeous to watch on the court as he blows up the boards (scores lots of points) and not bad too look at during his post-game interviews. Mmm.
  • Buzzer Beater – The shot taken right before the clock runs out, when the buzzer would sound. It literally beats the buzzer. This mostly refers to the baskets that win or tie a game.
  • Cinderella Story – The underdog team that should have lost in the early rounds of the tournament but managed to beat a big name team to advance. And just like Cinderella (and every other Disney princess), you can’t help but root for them.
  • Buckeye – As a Penn Stater, I am ingrained to hate everything Ohio State. Ohio State received the overall number 1 seed for the tournament and many think they are favored to win the whole thing. The Buckeye is their mascot… and it’s a nut. SMH.
  • The Ship – No, this is not a reference to that large cruise ship you just got off of. The Ship, or the Championship Game, will be held on April 4.

You can check out any of the games on TruTV, CBS, TNT and TBS. This is the first year that every single game is being televised so grab some popcorn, open up a cold beer, and make yourself comfortable on your couch. Or take your new-found knowledge to the bar to impress some sports fans! Either way… let the madness begin.

Budget Stylista: Thinking Spring (Jackets)
Budget Stylista: Thinking Spring (Jackets)
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