a, Basketball, Sports

10 things you didn’t know about… NCAA Basketball

1. College basketball is the home of the most exciting post-season tournament in sport. Sixty-eight teams face off against one another every spring in a single elimination knockout tournament to earn the right to be named national champion. The last four rounds of the tournament are called the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, the Final Four and the National Championship game ….

2. …. After which the newly crowned champions cut down the nets from the baskets while the song, “One Shining Moment” by David Barrett is played. Barrett wrote the song specifically for the NCAA Tournament in 1986 and the song was used for the first time following the 1987 championship game.

3. There are 351 schools in 32 conferences currently playing in Division I. The smallest of these schools is the Centenary College of Louisiana, a liberal arts college with an undergraduate enrolment of 680 students. The largest basketball school is the University of Central Florida which also happens to play in the same conference as ….

4. The Louisville Cardinals, last year’s NCAA Tournament champions. UCLA currently leads the all-time total with 11 championships, 10 of which were won during a 12-year period by legendary coach John Wooden. Kentucky has eight championships while North Carolina, Indiana and Duke round out the top five with five, five, and four national titles respectively.

5. The college game is different from its professional counterpart—the NBA—in many ways. College games are eight minutes shorter and are split into two halves as opposed to four quarters. The shot clock is also 35 seconds as opposed to 24 seconds, which leads to lower-scoring games as teams keep the ball longer. The NCAA also has a shorter three-point line and a smaller painted area inside of the three-point line.

6. Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski is the winningest coach in Division 1 history with an astounding 958 wins. Coach K’s first win was in 1975 with the Army Black Knights. At his current winning percentage of .763, he stands to get his 1000th win midway through the 2014-2015 season during which ….

7. …. The recent frenzy of conference realignment in college basketball will finally stop. The landscape of college athletics has changed profoundly in the past five years as universities have sought more and more money for their media rights. The Big East, which set the record for having the most teams qualify to the NCAA Tournament in 2011,  lost more than half of its membership at the start of the season.

8. In 2003 the University of Kentucky and Michigan State University played each other in the “Basketbowl.” The game set the record for the largest attendance ever at a college basketball game with 78,129 fans in attendance, and was held at Ford Field in Detroit, a football stadium. Since 2009, the Final Four has been played at a football stadium, which isn’t even the least orthodox venue used by the NCAA ….

9. …. In 2011, the first of five ‘aircraft carrier games’ was scheduled. The University of North Carolina and Michigan State played aboard the USS Carl Vinson. More recently, to honour the military, games have been played at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and at Camp Humphreys in South Korea.

10. Pistol Pete Maravich, who played at Lousiana State University from 1968-1970, holds the record for the most points scored in a career with 3667 and the highest career per-game scoring average with 44.2. Pistol Pete accomplished this before freshmen were allowed to play—a rule overturned in 1972—and before the creation of the three point shot in 1986.

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