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9 Things You Need To Know About 2011 NCAA Tournament

Lot of St. Patrick’s Day in 2011, huh? 

Not that I don’t enjoy a good green beer every year, but Saint Pat was feted properly last weekend by most in this country, so dedicating your drinking to Irish today seems like overkill.

Dedicate your drinking to the beginning of the NCAA Tournament.

(If you’re reading this before 11a CST, submit your bracket HERE)

Things you should know about this year’s NCAA Tournament:

1: All games will be on your TV. The NCAA for the first time will be on other channels than your CBS affiliate. TNT, TBS and TruTV all have games now, so if you’re a fan of a particular team or you see that a score is damn close, you can flip to say TNT and see as much or as little of that one game as you want. CBS won’t be doing many, if any cut-ins, so if you’re still just on over the air TV’s- you’re not getting any more than you got.

2: This is the most losses that have ever populated an NCAA Men’s Tournament. Since the field expanded to 64, the tournament had 6 teams get at-large bids with 14 or more losses. In 2011 alone, there are 5. There are 13 teams with 11 or more losses in the field as well. Jay Bilas, EPSN Analyst, has pegged this the worst field he’s ever seen and backs it up with those stats.

3: The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is the largest illegal gambling operation in the United States. And thankfully one that the US Feds have no interest in cracking down on. However, that will probably change at some point and we’ll all claim that this isn’t the America we want to live in.

4: Since the NCAA started seeding the #1’s in 2004, no #1 overall seed has won the NCAA Tournament. There is still time to back away from that Ohio State pick you have.

5: BYU has played in the most tournaments without a Final Four appearance — 25. Missouri is close behind with 24, followed by Xavier with 21. All three are in the tournament field for 2011.

6: There are 147,573,952,589,676,412,928 different possible brackets with a 68-team field.

7: The 2011 Final Four will be played in Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas, right next to the first domed Final Four that was played back in 1971. UCLA was the winner that season and is still the only champion to be crowned from  Houston TX.

8: The term ‘March Madness’ wasn’t widely associated with the NCAA Tournament until Brent Musberger started using the term regularly on his calls of games in the early 1980’s. The term has been dated back as far as 1930 with high school basketball in Indiana.

9: 20 coaches in the field have taken a team to a Final Four. Twenty.

Games start at a bit past 11a CST today. Sit back, relax and try to act like you’re in a meeting or something. And if you want to have a green beer too, who’s to say no?

(Thanks to Doc’s Sport Service for some of the above stats and information.)