Where It All Began
College basketball fans have always looked forward towards one month out of the whole year and that is March. March is a giant month because if you are a college basketball fan it’s the one month where as a fan you make a bracket and you chose which basketball team will beat which team, but as a fan or just a spectator do you ever wonder where the history of March Madness came from.
According to the IHSA which stands for the Illinois High School Association the tradition of March Madness and the way it got started was “March Madness” was born in Illinois. The annual tournament of high school boys basketball teams, sponsored by the Illinois High School Association, grew from a small invitational affair in 1908 to a statewide institution with over 900 schools competing by the late 1930s. A field of teams known as the “Sweet Sixteen” routinely drew sellout crowds to the University of Illinois’ Huff Gymnasium”.
Henry V. Porter who was an assistant executive secretary of the Illinois High School Association at the time he was so impressed that Porter wrote an essay and he titled it March Madness. The name of it struck the papers and it was during the tournament’s “Golden Era” of the 1940s and 1950s, March Madness had become the popular name of the event.
March Madness origin was used to describe the Illinois state high school basketball tournaments, but March Madness nowadays has a different meaning. There are “Elite Eight” of teams advance to the state finals, but there are eight tournaments class 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A versions, from the smallest schools to the largest, for both boys and girls, played in Peoria and Normal”.
The first-ever March Madness win according to NCAA.com was “in 1939 the Oregon Ducks went 29-5 on the season and beat Ohio State 46-33 to win the national title in the first NCAA tournament” (WILCO, 2019).
In 1939 the tournament featured only eight teams,but then by 1951, the tournament had doubled the tournament was expanding until 1985 where there is the modern format of a 64-teams in the tournament. Having more teams in the tournament gives you a better chance of winning your bracket.