If you think that the frenetic 68 team collegiate spring scramble known as March Madness is poetry in motion, you won’t be surprised to hear that it was used in a poem about the Illinois state basketball tournament in 1942, 40 years before the NCAA caught the fever.
The term “March Madness,” as it applies to sports, came from an article written in 1939 by Henry V. Porter for the Illinois High School Association magazine referring to the state’s high school basketball tournament. He also used the phrase in a poem he wrote three years later. In 1982, Brent Musburger used it during his NCAA tournament coverage. After some court battles over who owned the rights to the name, a March Madness Athletic Association was formed with the Illinois High School Association controlling the rights on the high school level and the NCAA has a perpetual license to use the phrase in connection with its tournament.
Only eight teams competed in the first NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1939. In 1975, the NCAA basketball tournament expanded to 32 teams and the first bracket pool is thought to have started in a Staten Island bar in 1977. In 1985, the tournament expanded to 64 teams and in 2011 it was expanded to the current 68 teams with four teams competing in “play-in” games to determine the traditional 64 team bracket. It is estimated that 45 percent of Americans fill out brackets while the odds of randomly picking a perfect bracket are now 147.57 quintillion to one. Even President Obama, who has referred to this practice as a “national pastime,” fills out a bracket.
Master Gardener Series: Raised Beds for Vegetable Gardens presented by Steven Becker, Thurs at 7p
Master Gardener Steven Becker will demonstrate how raised-bed vegetable gardens will improve soil conditions to obtain maximum crop yields. The discussion will include making raised beds, planting companion crops, rotating crops, and germinating seeds at home. A discussion of buying nursery grown plants for your vegetable garden is important to successful crops. Part of the program will include utilizing various garden materials to combat adverse weather conditions and preparing the vegetable garden for winter. Please register by calling the library at (845) 358-3370 ext. 214 or visit the library events calendar at NyackLibrary.org.
Carnegie Concert Series: Life & Times of Chopin – Final Years, Sat at 7:30p
Dramatic events unfold in Chopin’s final years. His scandalous affair with George Sand reaches a climax and riots in the street force him to flee Paris.
Artistic Director Yashar Yaslowitz performs the complete Mazurkas, Nocturnes, Ballades, and other works by Frederic Chopin.
Scherzo No.4, Op.54
Three Mazurkas, Op.59
Two Nocturnes, Op.62
Three Mazurkas, Op.63
Yashar Yaslowitz, piano
Tickets In Advance: $20 Adult, $18 Seniors & Students, $15 member. At the Door: $25 Adult, $22 Seniors & Students, $18 member. Tickets and more info at CarnegieConcerts.org.
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