The 2009 Brackets and the Basketball March Madness
Aka: The big Dance
If you’ve never heard of it, the March madness is a basketball tournament held each march where 65 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) compete for nationwide glory and that is no understatement, the semi-finals and finals are one of the most watched sporting events in the U.S. It is a bracket tournament, hence the hint of March Madness, also known as the Big Dance that can ensue with the possibility of quite a lowly team being able to knock-out a much stronger one. The bracket format for this college basketball tournament is four regional 16 team brackets, with the winner of each bracket progressing to the national semi-finals, for the honour of playing in the grand final. So, what happened in the 2009 bracket March Madness basketball tournament?
The 2009 brackets
It is through a seeding system that the 16 teams are chosen according to the performances of previous season heading up to the March madness, which means that the best teams get the best seeds in the tournament that is favour when it comes to drawing the games. The top seed for each 2009 bracket was automatically assigned to each of the Division 1 conference champions. Thereafter the 2009 bracket seeding for the March Madness brackets were decided by the NCAA on the basis of each college basketball team’s rankings and win/loss ratios in their respective conferences. The snag in this procedure is, of course, that there are 65 teams eligible to compete in the March Madness basketball tournament - but four 16 team brackets only gives 64 places. A opening round is held between two teams of the lower teams to decide who will take the last spot in the bracket registration, this team also ends up with the lowest seed.
2009 brackets – in the beginning
In 2009, the bracket basketball tournament got started with Connecticut, Louisville, North Carolina and Pittsburgh all seeded first in their 16 team brackets. With each team destined to meet the 8th or 9th seeded team in the next round - they all wanted to assert their authority over the lowly 16th seed teams that they were to play first. Although not exactly scraping for a win, Pittsburgh and Louisville only won their games by 10 and 20 points respectively. North Carolina beat Radford by 43 points but the bragging rights went to Connecticut who beat Chattanooga by a staggering 56 points, 103-47; which turned out to be the biggest winning margin of all the 2009 brackets. Connecticut was again the strongest winner in the second round, with Louisville only just scarping through by 7 points against Siena. The Sweet Sixteen saw all of the four teams come through in 2009 with wins against opposition with mid-ranked seeds, and will play in the next elimination rounds on March 26th to 27th.
Original 16 team brackets and Elite Eights
Four teams from the original brackets of 16 compete for the spots in what is known as the Elite Eight. Making it through to the Elite Eight means you’re playing March Madness basketball for the prize of making it through to the national finals. In the Sweet Sixteen round the 2009 brackets, or indeed any year’s bracket, will always favour the higher seed presuming they make it through to this point. For each 16 team bracket the highest seed the number 1 seed team can expect to have to play is the 4th seed; whereas, if the seeding has worked properly, in the other match in the 16 team brackets - 2nd seed will play 3rd. This time Louisville struck lucky and found themselves up against Arizona who, as the 12th seed in their bracket had done well to get to the Sweet Sixteen 2009 brackets. However, Louisville blew them away, winning by a landslide victory of 39 points - the highest difference for the Sweet Sixteen’s. Connecticut, Pittsburgh and North Carolina all passed through to the Elite Eights too with little difficulty. With so much at stake the Elite Eights can be tense affairs and sometimes a sort of March Madness basketball fever can grip a team. If there was a fever in the air then the team from the swamp-lands certainly suffered from it as Louisville lost to 2nd seed Michigan State by a convincing 52-64 margin. Villanova turned out to be the better team against Pittsburgh just scraping by a win with 2 points more.
National Finals 2009
4th of April was the day of the when the semi-finals of March Madness were played. 2nd seeded Michigan State vs Connecticut and 3rd seeded Villanova, who beat Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina. By the way, just in case you didn’t know the 2009 March Madness finals were contested at the Ford Field - Detroit, Michigan; so home advantage to Michigan State! Having fought hard to get to the 2009 brackets finals Michigan State worked hard to ensure that they didn’t let the home fans down and beat an astonished and shell-shocked Connecticut by 82-73. In the other March Madness bracket semi-final North Carolina maintained their form, booking a final place with a convincing 69-83 win. The Grand final happened on a Monday in April, and even though they were playing in front of a home audience Michigan State were brushed aside by North Carolina 72-89; This made it the 5th March Madness trophy for North Carolina since the tournament started in 1939.