The BBB Connection March 2018 - Page 10

Cheat Sheet for Newbies BY CARITA STRAWN For those of you who have had your head in the sand for the past oh…79 years or so, here is a crash course in the NCAA college basketball tournament affectionately known as “March Madness.” The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the overseeing body of ap- proximately 1,300 college and university members of the association. The active members are delineated into three divisions – Division I, Division II and Division III (based primarily on the number of sports teams each school sponsors). Each division has an annual tournament of champions. The Division I tournament is the most prestigious and prominent tournament and is the main centerpiece of “March Madness.” There are approximately 350 active men’s teams and 350 active women’s teams in Division I college basketball. Of these teams, 68 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams are granted invitations to the tournament of champions’ field. The invitations are de- termined by a NCAA selection committee comprised of various university athletic di- rectors and conference commissioners. Selection Sunday, which is scheduled to take place on March 11 this year and will be televised on NCAA.com and TBS starting at 3:00 p.m. PT, is the day when the NCAA basketball committees determine which teams have made the cut for this year’s championships. In determining the selection, seeding and bracketing of the tourna- ment field, the Division I selection committee members evaluate a vast amount of