March Madness is still a month away and yet fans are already getting excited. College basketball season is now in full swing, and predictions are being made. Who will win it all? Who will be the Cinderella story? While March Madness happens all across the country, Texans should be especially excited for this year’s tournament. Two Texas cities will be host to a weekend of games—starting with Dallas for the First/Second Rounds on March 15-16. Then, weeks later, San Antonio will host the Final Four taking place on March 31 and April 2.
Before the madness begins, let’s take a look back at the history of the tournament.
History of the Final Four
The term “Final Four” is often used to describe the final four teams remaining in a sports playoff tournament. The term is most widely used in conjunction with the final four teams participating in the annual NCAA basketball tournament. In 1974, the first public random drawing for Final Four game tickets was held. In 1975, the official NCAA publication featured the term “Final Four” for the first time as a 32-team bracket was accepted under the terms that no conference could be represented by more than two teams. By 1981, the NCAA decided to register a trademark for the “Final Four” term with a first use stated to be in 1978.
Over the next several years, the Final Four competitions became more and more popular with a greater demand for tickets and an increasing number of fans in attendance. As basketball fans scrambled to obtain Final Four tickets, players prepared for a tournament that they would hope to participate in. By 1983, the league decided that the venue, which would be chosen to hold the Final Four competition, must consist of a minimum of 17,000 seats.
With the computer industry gaining in popularity, the first computerized random drawing was held by the NCAA for the public’s allotment of Final Four competition tickets. In 1989, the NCAA committee determined that three of the next four competition facilities should offer a minimum capacity of 30,000 seats.
Rules of the Tournament
The NCAA determined that no team could play on their home court. This established the precedent for holding the annual tournaments on a neutral court for all teams involved. In 1990, the general public was limited to purchasing no more than two Final Four tickets. By 1996, the internet age was becoming the “norm” for newsworthy reports and, as such, the Final Four website was created. By 2003, the Final Four seating capacity was increased to 40,000 for any venue being chosen to host the annual NCAA tournaments.
San Antonio to Host March Madness 2018
Attendance at Final Four tournament games has filled arenas to nearly full capacity and done so in all-time record fashion. With no signs of slowing down, the NCAA and the Final Four tournaments are sure to continue packing the house with cheering fans hoping to see their favorite team advance to the championship. This year, local San Antonians will have their opportunity to a front row seat to the action.
For more information, visit NCAA.com.