Did you know “March Madness” first came into common use in 1939? An Illinois high school basketball official coined the phrase in an essay titled “March Madness,” writing, “A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.”
He was writing about the frenzy around his state’s boys basketball tourney. The phrase stuck.
Did you know the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament also began in 1939 with Oregon defeating Ohio State? It was hardly madness, with just eight teams and no wall-to-wall coverage.
Did you know it wasn’t until the early 1980s that the NCAA Tournament became associated with March Madness after CBS broadcaster Brent Musburger began using the phrase to describe the crazy action? The former Chicago sports writer, of course, knew the phrase from his Illinois days.
Did you know today’s average worker spends six hours watching NCAA March Madness games, resulting in some $13.8 billion in corporate losses due to unproductive employees?
Did you know that if you are in an office pool, like millions of others, your odds of filling out a perfect bracket are lower than the odds of winning the lottery? That said, the clock is ticking on filling out your bracket. The First Four games are March 14-15.
As the Illinois basketball official said in a follow-up poem in 1942:
“The Madness of March is running.”
Sources: Time.com, WalletHub.com and Sportscasting.com.