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So the 2023 AFL season may have just kicked off, but basketball fans’ full attention is currently absorbed in the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness…erm, madness!
The 68-team tournament is currently well underway and getting to the pointy end of proceedings, but there’s still time to get amongst the action:
What is NCAA March Madness and why is it a big deal?
March Madness is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)’s annual basketball championship, which runs over March and April. It’s a single elimination tournament, which means anything can happen (hence the ‘madness’), and has tens of millions of viewers from the US and around the globe.
How does it relate to the NBA?
March Madness is an important platform and stepping stone for college players who are interested in making the next step to the National Basketball Association. Scouts and execs pay keen attention to what happens, who stars, and even strategies and tactics used in games. Many of the sport’s biggest names have come out of the college system.
It’s a couple of weeks into the tournament, what’s been happening?
We’re heading into the Sweet 16 phase of the Men’s championship and while games have generally panned out according to seed rankings, there have been a couple of huge upsets. 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson beating 1-seed team Purdue in the first round (although failing to advance after losing in the second), while 15-seed Princeton advanced to the Sweet 16 after taking down University of Arizona, making them the only double-digit seed remaining. The Sweet 16 field features four of the top six, and 11 of the top 20 teams, with Princeton really the only potential cinderella story left in the mix.
Sweet 16 events kick off this weekend, with all eyes on Princeton to see if they can continue their run and beat 6-seed Creighton on Saturday. CBS Sports have re-seeded the teams remaining in the comp, and have Alabama pegged to reign supreme following dominant wins in the first two rounds.
When does it finish?
Elite Eight games begin this weekend as soon as the Sweet 16 round is up, then the competition heads to Final Four (April 1) and finally the national championship game on Sunday 1 April.
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