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Online PR News – 27-July-2009 – – The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single elimination tournament held each spring featuring 65 college basketball teams in the United States. This tournament, organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was first developed by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 1939 and was the brainchild of Kansas coach Phog Allen; The NCAA would take over the tournament the following season. Colloquially known as March Madness (as the tournament takes place mainly during the month of March) or the Big Dance (as opposed to the now smaller and less prestigious NIT), the tournament takes place over three weeks at sites across the United States, and the national semifinals (the Final Four) have become one of the nation's most prominent sporting events.
Since its 1939 inception it has built a legacy that includes dynasty teams and dramatic underdog stories. In recent years, friendly wagering on the event has become something of a national pastime, spawning countless office pools that attract expert fans and novices alike. All games of the tournament are broadcast on the CBS broadcast television network in the United States, except for the opening round (also known as the play-in) game, which aired on TNN in 2001, and ESPN since 2002. The tournament bracket is made up of conference tournament champions from each Division I conference, which receive automatic bids. The remaining slots are at-large berths, with teams chosen by an NCAA selection committee. The selection process and tournament seedings are based on several factors, including team rankings, win-loss records and RPI data.
Two low-seeded teams (typically teams with poor records that qualified by winning their conference tournament championships) compete in the opening round game to determine which will advance into the first round of the tournament, with the winner advancing to play the top seed in one of the four regions. The opening Round game was added in 2001 and has been played in University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio each subsequent year. Even though the opening round is technically considered part of the tournament, it is often referred to as a "play-in" game.
A Most Outstanding Player award is given by the Associated Press at the end of each tournament.
At 11 national titles, UCLA currently holds the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships. The University of Kentucky is second, with 7 national titles, while Indiana University and the University of North Carolina are tied for third with 5 national titles.
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