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Beginning in the second week of March and running through the first week of April, the annual epidemic of March Madness sweeps across America, infecting basketball fans everywhere. But before welcoming another year of exciting buzzer beaters, painful bracket-busting upsets, and intense program rivalries, take a moment to reflect on the tournament itself. Here are 9 things you might not know about March Madness:
- In 1939, a basketball coach and teacher from Illinois, Henry V. Porter, coined the term March Madness to describe the Illinois community’s intense affection and excitement surrounding the state high school basketball tournament.
- As reported by CBS, there are over 9,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s 9 quintillion!) bracket combinations. Good luck with your bracket this year. The odds are, unfortunately, not in your favor in any way whatsoever. Want proof? DePaul University mathematics professor Jeff Bergen shows you the math.
- The lowest-ranked seed to win an NCAA basketball title was Villanova, seeded 8th, in 1985.
- The most points scored by a single player in the tournament was in 1989 when Glen Rice put up 184 for the University of Michigan during their national championship run. He was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
- UConn has won three National Championships, but they didn't win their first until they defeated Duke in 1999.
- UCLA holds the record for most National Championships with 11, followed by University of Kentucky with 8. Tied for third are Indiana University and the University of North Carolina with 5 titles each. John Wooden led UCLA to 10 of their 11 titles.
- The only time that all four number one seeds made it to the Final Four was in 2008, when Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA and Memphis won their respective regions.
- CBS and Time Warner partnered up to buy the broadcast rights to the tournament through 2024. The cost? $10.8 billion.
- Basketball players talented enough to advance in the tournament receive more than new uniforms and gear. They also get the opportunity to play on a brand-spanking-new court. That’s right, according to the New Jersey Times, every year the NCAA contracts with Connor Sports Flooring to produce new hardwood floors for the regionals and Final Four games.