March Madness facts and WTVM picks - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

March Madness facts and WTVM picks

You have a 1 in 9 quintillion chance to pick all the games correct. You have a 1 in 9 quintillion chance to pick all the games correct.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It’s called “March Madness” for good reason! The NCAA men's basketball tournament is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, a beautiful chaos with 67 single-elimination games played by outstanding, unpaid athletes.

Keep on reading and you’ll see some of the predictions from your favorite WTVM and Fox 54 personalities.

We’re some of the 60 million people across the U-S that fill out a bracket or make picks for this tournament - and ten percent of those are in an office pool.

There are usually plenty of upsets, like tournament favorite Michigan State going down in their first game on Friday, one of the biggest surprises in tourney history. You have a 1 in 9 quintillion chance to pick all the games correct.

This three weeks of basketball also brings in a lot of money - with the city of Houston, host of the Final Four this year, expected to generate $300 million in revenue.

A pair of networks also paid $10 billion for the broadcasting rights to this tournament, for which an average 30 second ad costs $1.5 million.

The average price of a single ticket to one of these NCAA games is $344, which is still much less than other sporting events on this scale.

So why is it called March Madness? That phrase debuted back in 1939, when an assistant executive secretary of the Illinois High School Association used “march madness” as the title of an essay about the state’s HS basketball tournament. The phrase was picked up by reporters at that time, but didn’t catch on nationally until 1982, when the term was used by sportscaster Brent Musburger.

Here are some of our picks for the Final Four in this NCAA tournament:

News anchor Jason Dennis: Villanova, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Chief Meteorologist Derek Kinkade: Kansas, OK, UNC, Michigan State.

Sports Director Dave Platta: Wichita State, OK, UNC, Michigan State.

Weekend sports anchor Paul Stockman: Kansas, OK, Xavier, MSU.

News anchor Barbara Gauthier: Kansas, Duke, UNC, MSU.

Weekend morning anchor Brandon Saho: Kansas, OK, West Virginia, MSU.

News director Shawn Reynolds: Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State.

Dave will keep you updates on News Leader 9 with highlights and scores from the March Madness.

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