Co-written by Sean de Ganon
March is a month full of important events: St. Patrick’s Day, my birthday (though not recognized worldwide), and the sporting event we know as March Madness.
Have you heard of it? Are you following it?
March Madness is college basketball’s big tournament, also called the NCAA Championship. NCAA is an acronym and stands for the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The NCAA Basketball Championship is a big deal for a few reasons.
Football’s biggest event, the Super Bowl, for example, is often a blowout where one team usually dominates the other. Basketball’s March Madness, on the other hand, is three weeks of super-close, intense match-ups, where games can be won by one guy playing great, and by last second “buzzer beaters” — sinking a basket at the last possible moment to win the game. Nail biting … because if you win you move on. If you lose, you’re out.
A lot of people, including President Obama, pick who they think will win. You can click here to see ESPN’s video of his choices. Kid President made his predictions, too:
But even if you follow basketball it’s not that easy. The men’s tournament is often full of upsets where teams that are expected to win don’t … and teams that weren’t, do. On the women’s side, it’s a different story. The top-ranked teams have won consistently over the years.
68 teams started out but the real action begins when 16 teams are left, known as the Sweet Sixteen. Then the Elite Eight. Now we’re down to the Final Four. That starts this weekend and it’s the most exciting event of all in the tourney. Final four players often have a chance of making the NBA (turning pro).
So far, the tournament has been amazing, but the big story hasn’t been about a win or a loss … it’s been about a player from Louisville, Kevin Ware, who landed and broke his leg so badly that it snapped in half and his bone was sticking out of his skin! It was so shocking that his team mates and coach started crying. The New York Times called it “one of the most gruesome sports injuries ever televised.”
As he was lying on the floor in pain, Ware repeatedly asked his team to go on and win without him. And they did, which got them into the Final Four!
So, the Final Four match-ups for the men are:
The championship game between the winners of those two games will be on Monday, April 8. Click here for times .
This year’s Final Four games will be played in Atlanta, Georgia.
The women’s Final Four is on April 7 and 9. And it’ll be Louisville (Cardinals) versus California (Golden Bears). And Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) versus Connecticut (Huskies). Click here for times.
They’ll be playing in New Orleans, Louisiana.
I have a trace of Michigan in my blood (GO BLUE!!!!!) but otherwise it looks to be an exciting tournament.
Who do you think will win?
Sean de Ganon is a just turned 13-year old budding sports journalist who loves writing about basketball and football. You can read his blog at www.nflataglance.blogspot.com .