March Madness Lingo

March Madness: name for the postseason tournament for the NCAA Men’s Basketball league which takes place in March.

Cinderella: a higher-seeded team that upsets two or more lower seeded teams. Most underdogs in the tournament are referred to as Cinderellas.

Dickie V: Nickname for Dick Vitale, a famous commentator for college basketball games. Catch phrases like “Yeah, Baby” and “Diaper Dandy” are commonly heard when Dickie V is calling a game.

Final Four 2009 Logo Image Credit:

Final Four: The last four teams left in the tournament.

Big Dance: Another name for the tournament. Teams that make the tournament are known to be “going dancing.”

RPI: Ratings Percentage Index, formula used since 1981 by the NCAA to rank teams.

Seeds: In each of the four divisions, teams are assigned a rank of 1-16, one being the highest. Their rank is called their seed.

At-large berth: A team that did not win their conference’s postseason tournament but makes March Madness receives an at-large berth.

Automatic bid: A team that wins their conference’s postseason tournament is automatically placed in the tournament, called an automatic bid.

Cutting Down the Net: Teams that win the championship traditionally have different players/coaches cut down the nets from the baskets in the place where they win.

One and Done: Because the tournament is single-elimination style, games are often referred to as “one and dones.”

Selection Sunday: The day where the teams for that year's tournament and their seeds are announced. There is usually a televised program as well.

© 2010 Jillian Kremer