Just What is March Madness All About?

A certain fever takes hold of millions of Americans during March. It’s not a late-season flu; it’s the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments AKA “March Madness.”

With Public Market’s Food Hall and HOT ITALIAN both popular spots to gather, eat and enjoy sports on TV, there will be plenty of cheers erupting. For those as yet uninitiated, here’s a primer, of sorts, on the craziest month of the year.

The NCAA tournament is played over a period of three weeks, usually beginning in mid-March. Here’s a guide to key dates for the 2017 games >

Over the first two full days of the tournament, the field of 64 teams is pared to 32. In the next two days, the field is trimmed to 16 — the “Sweet 16.” These final 16 teams take a four-day break before resuming play on the next Thursday. During the second week of the tournament, the field is trimmed from 16 to four. These teams comprise the tournament’s Final Four.

In the Final Four round, two games are played to determine which two teams will head to the finals. On the women’s side, history might be in the making as the UConn Huskies attempt to win their fifth consecutive championship. For locals – as of this writing, it was still TBD for Cal. Once considered a lock to earn an at-large berth to the Tournament, the consensus now is it’s looking grim for the Bears, after they dropped five of their past six games.

March Madness isn’t enjoyed only from the stands. Participating in a pool has become a sport all its own. Millions fill out a bracket each year with their projections of which team will win each round. To print out your bracket for 2017, visit this page >

So, rather than trying to figure out how to stream the games on your phone or just sitting at home watching, join the crowds in our Food Hall and at HOT ITALIAN, where you can eat and drink while you get your March Madness on.