March Madness

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March Madness is a popular name for the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, an annual tournament held each year in March and April. Originally referring only to the men's tournament, the NCAA later expanded its use to the women's tournament as well.

The tournament format is "single elimination," and consists of 68 teams in the men's tournament and 64 for the women's. A team must win six (or seven, if a men's team playing in the "First Four")[1]games 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. Other notable schools with Christian ties include Baylor (the 2021 men's winner and three-time women's winner), Oral Roberts (a #14 seed which became only the second team that low to advance to the "Sweet Sixteen" round), Loyola of Chicago (another surprise Final Four team) and most notably Gonzaga University (which has risen to become a national powerhouse, though they have yet to win the championship). 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.


  1. No "First Four" team, however, has ever won the championship, and only twice has a "First Four" team – Virginia Commonwealth and UCLA – advanced to the "Final Four."