March Madness is a popular name for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, an annual tournament of 68 teams held each year in March and April. The tournament format is "single elimination," and a team must win six (or seven, if playing in the "First Four") to win the championship.
Unlike most aspects of liberal universities, meritocracy rules in March Madness. Universities that are openly Christian (or have historical ties to Christian denominations) typically qualify and excel at a higher-than-average rate: notable success stories include Duke University (though now secular it has historical ties to the Methodist Church) and Villanova University (a Catholic university, it won the 1985 championship as a #8 seed, the lowest seed to do so, and has since won two additional titles), despite how government discriminates against them by providing far more funding to their public competitors. Underachievement by expensive, government-funded basketball programs is common among teams that fail to qualify for March Madness, or suffer upset defeats early in the tournament.
- No "First Four" team, however, has ever won the championship, and only one "First Four" team – Virginia Commonwealth – has ever advanced to the "Final Four."