Your Guide to March Madness 2012

March Madness 2012 guide

You've probably been seeing a lot of this! Now learn what all the hype is about. | Source:

A lot of your friends are probably going on and on about March Madness 2012 right about now. While a lot of of you are probably familiar with the NCAA tournament, some of you may be a bit clueless–or just tired of explaining it to your pals! The whole thing can be a bit baffling and overwhelming at first (there are how many teams?!), but we promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds! Here are the basics as well as some  fun facts on March Madness 2012:

*There are 68 teams entering March Madness 2012.

*The teams are divvied into four regions, this year’s being East, West, Midwest, and South. Each region has an even number of evenly qualified team to match up in a bracket system (check out this year’s brackets here).

*The tournament is divided into rounds: First Round, Second Round, Third Round. As the games go on, the losing team in each bracket gets eliminated, which eventually brings us to the rounds with the cooler names: the fourth round is called the NCAA Sweet 16 Regional Semifinals, followed by the Elite 8 Regional Semifinals, then the Final Four, then finally, the National Championships.

*March Madness 2012 began on March 13. The National Championships air on April 2 at 9:00 PM.

March Madness 2012 Cinderella

Some teams need a little magic to help them out. | Source:

*You may hear the term “Cinderella” thrown around. There are no glass slippers involved here! “Cinderella” refers to a team that advances in a tournament much farther than they were expected to, similarly how Cinderella’s skanky stepsisters never thought she’d snag the prince. Whether or not there are fairy godmothers at play in the tourney is up for debate, but we’ll chalk it up to skill, luck, and good sportsmanship until we hear otherwise!

*At the end of regional and national championship games, the winning team cuts down the nets as a tournament ritual. The seniors go first, then juniors, then sophomores, then freshmen, each snipping a single strand from each net. Afterwards, the coach of the winning team cuts the last strand that’s connected to the hoop.

*The national champions get a gold plated trophy and championship rings, with the second place winners taking home a silver trophy. All teams in the final four take home bronze trophies and Final Four rings.

*The winning team also gets a National Association of Basketball Coaches trophy, which is usually fancier than the actual March Madness tournament trophy–we’re talking marble and crystal here!

*After the national championships, a player (almost always from the winning team) is awarded the Most Outstanding Player award. It’s usually confused with a Most Valuable Player award. To be fair, it’s just a different name for essentially the same thing!

*Vermont defeated Lamar in the First Four with a score of 71-59.

*The Duke Blue Devils, Indiana Hoosiers, and Virginia Cavaliers are expected to be eliminated rather quickly (unless maybe a fairy godmother gets involved).

*Ohio State, University of North Carolina, Missouri, Kentucky, Syracuse, University of Florida, and Florida State (confusing, we know, but they’re not the same!) are all favorites for the Final Four.

March Madness 2012 Obama

Even the President has his own picks! Obama's rooting for UNC to take it all. | Source:

*President Obama predicts that University of North Carolina will win the National Championships. You can check out his full bracket predictions here!

Are you following March Madness 2012? Does someone you know get crazy into it each year? Do you have a favorite team? Have you made a bracket before? Do you just wish there would be as much hype about women’s sports? Sound off about everything in the comments!

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