March Madness

What is March Madness?

NCAA Basketball Tournament

March Madness is the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament that begins in March and lasts three weeks. The tournament's first year was in 1939 with just eight teams, but it has since expanded to 68 teams for the men and 64 for the women.

Origin of March Madness

The name "March Madness" originated in 1939 when Illinois high school official Henry V. Porter used the term in an essay for the Illinois Interscholastic describing the Illinois high school boys basketball tournament. However, it wasn't popularized in relation to the NCAA tournament until 1982, when CBS broadcaster Brent Musburger uttered it during tournament TV coverage.

Growth of March Madness

Since 1982, the name has become synonymous with the tournament as it has grown into one of the premier American sporting events. Even if you are not a sports fan, you will see the name everywhere during March, including on TV, on social media, in advertisements, and in bracket pool office competitions.


How's your bracket holding up?
Busted after the first day
That's why they call it March Madness!
March Madness is the NCAA Basketball Tournament
March Madness is the NCAA Basketball Tournament

Related Slang


Updated March 17, 2023

March Madness definition by

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