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You’ve likely heard a lot of talk about March Madness and wondered what the excitement is all about. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this annual sporting event, this article from Bovada Sportsbook will provide you with everything you need to know about the popular college basketball tournament. We’ll also walk you through some of the key terms so you’ll know exactly what’s going on when people talk about bracket busters and Cinderella stories. So without further ado, let’s break it down.

What Is March Madness?

The NCAA Tournament, also known as March Madness, is an annual basketball tournament that takes place every March. It is a single-elimination tournament where 68 teams compete for the national championship. The tournament is broken down into four regions, each consisting of 16 teams.

How Does March Madness Work?

The tournament is divided into several rounds: the First Four, the First Round, Second Round, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final 4 and the National Championship Game. The First Four are play-in games where eight teams compete for the last four spots in the tournament. The winners of the First Four advance to the First Round, where they are joined by the 60 remaining teams.


The First Round is where the real madness begins, with 32 games played over two jam-packed days of college basketball action. The Second Round is also played over two days and consists of 16 games. The winners of the Second Round advance to the Sweet Sixteen, with the winners moving on once again to the Elite Eight. The winning teams then move on to the NCAA Final 4, which is a major accomplishment in and of itself. Finally, the two teams left standing after the Final 4 will meet in the National Championship Game, with the eventual winner being crowned NCAA champions.

What Makes March Madness So Exciting?

The tournament is known for its upsets and Cinderella stories, where lower-seeded teams knock off higher-seeded teams; this unpredictability makes March Madness so exciting. But March Madness is not just about the games themselves, it’s also about the brackets. Every year, people fill out March Madness brackets, predicting which team will win each game and ultimately the national championship. It’s a fun way to compete with friends, family, and coworkers, and see who has the best basketball knowledge.

March Madness Glossary

You’re likely to hear a lot of college basketball terms over the next few weeks and it’s important to understand what they all mean, especially if you plan on betting on the games at Bovada Sportsbook. With that in mind, here’s a list of some of the more common terms mentioned during March Madness.



A bracket is a visual representation of the tournament schedule, showing the matchups between teams and the path to the championship game. Fans often fill out brackets with their predictions of which teams will advance.

Bracket Buster

During March Madness, a bracket buster refers to a lower-seeded team that defeats a higher-seeded team, causing disruption or unexpected results in the tournament bracket.


In relation to March Madness, a bubble refers to the group of teams that are on the borderline of being selected for the NCAA tournament and must rely on their performance in the conference tournaments to secure a bid.


A buzzer-beater is a shot made just before the final buzzer sounds, often to win the game or send it into overtime. Buzzer-beaters are some of the most exciting moments in March Madness, and they can be a defining moment for a player or team.


A Cinderella team is an underdog that exceeds expectations and advances further in the tournament than many people predicted. These teams often come from smaller schools or conferences and are not expected to make it very far in the tournament.

Elite Eight

The Elite Eight is the round of the tournament that features the eight remaining teams. These teams have advanced through three rounds of the tournament and are just two wins away from the Championship Game.

Final Four

The Final Four is the culmination of the NCAA tournament, featuring the four remaining teams. The Final Four is held over one weekend, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championship game on Monday.

First Four

This term refers to the first four games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, played between eight lower-seeded teams before the traditional round of 64 games. The winners advance to the round of 64.

March Madness

March Madness is the popular term used to describe the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA tournament. The term refers to the frenzy of fans, upsets, and dramatic moments that are common during the tournament.


A mid-major is a term used to describe a team from a smaller, less prestigious conference. These teams are often considered underdogs when playing against schools from larger conferences.


One-and-done refers to a player who leaves college after only one year to enter the NBA draft. This is becoming more common in college basketball, with many of the top prospects opting to play one year of college ball before entering the professional ranks.


A team’s seed is its ranking within its region. The top four teams in each region are given a seed of 1-4, with the remaining teams seeded 5-16 based on their overall strength.


Selection Sunday

This is the day when the NCAA announces the field of 68 teams for the men’s and women’s tournaments. This day is eagerly anticipated by fans, who are eager to see which teams will make the cut and who they will be matched up against.

Sweet Sixteen

The Sweet Sixteen is the round of the tournament that features the 16 remaining teams. These teams have advanced through the first two rounds of the tournament and are just three wins away from the Final Four.


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That covers the key March Madness terms that you need to know! If you are looking to delve deeper into more about March Madness, then check-out all our other college basketball articles. From the latest news, previews and odds, you can find all you need to at Bovada Sportsbook. So you can bet on March Madness, be sure to sign up to Bovada and claim your crypto sports welcome bonus to make the most out of your first bet!