The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament selection is complete and on Thursdays play begins among the field of 64 teams vying for the National Championship. March Madness is official underway. I couldn't be happier; it's the most wonderful time of the year. Readers also know that I love trivia, and so below is trivia about college basketball coaches, players, teams and Final Four performances. Ask these questions at dinner tonight or impress your tweens with your basketball knowledge.
March Madness Trivia Questions (varying degrees of difficulty):
- Who invented basketball? What year?
- Who coined the term "March Madness"? And did it first refer to the NCAA Tournament?
- How many teams played in the very first NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament? Who won?
- Where was the first tournament played in 1939? Where will this year's Final Four be held?
- Which TV network first showed March Madness games? Which network will televise the games this year?
- Who is the first and only player to win the MVP award at the final four on three occasions?
- In 1984, which team lost to Georgetown in the championship game, marking its third loss in the Final Four in three year?
- This year Rick Pitino coaches the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals. In 1996, he led the Kentucky Wildcats to their first championship since 1978. Who did Kentucky beat in the final game?
- Which team has the most number of championship titles?
- What player has scored the most points in an NCAA tournament game? How many points did he score?
March Madness Trivia Answers:
- James Naismith invented basketball in 1891. He set out to create a game that met certain conditions: It had to be a game that could be played indoors in winter and provide strenuous physical activity for a group of unruly boys. He is often credited with introducing the first football helmet.
- An Illinois High School Association official came up with the term "March Madness" in 1939 but it was about high school playoff basketball. For the fascinating story, check out this article from Slate about the history of March Madness.
- In the very first NCAA Tournament, 8 teams were allowed to play. Oregon defeat Ohio State, 46-33.
- The first NCAA Tournament was held in Patten Gymnasium in Evanston, Illinois, to win the first NCAA basketball title. You can find more history and details on every championship game from the NCAA Div. I men's basketball history site here. Atlanta will host the 2013 Final Four games in the Georgia Dome.
- NBC was the first TV network to show games from the NCAA Tournament. This year, CBS will broadcast the games.
- Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) was the first and only player to win the MVP award at the final four on three occasions.
- Houston, which was known as Phi Slamma Jamma.
- Kentucky beat Syracuse 76-67 in the National Championship game.
- UCLA has won it all 11 times. Kentucky is second with 8 titles.
- In 1970, Notre Dame's Austin Carr scored a whopping 61 points against Ohio.
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