CCSS: 6.EE.A.2.C, 7.EE.B.3, MP1, MP6

TEKS: 6.3D, 6.7D, 7.3A, 7.3B

By the Numbers: March Madness

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s time to pick your brackets for March Madness! Since 1939, this annual basketball tournament has featured the best men’s college teams from around the country. Also known as the NCAA Division I Championships, it’s become one of the most popular sporting events in the United States. In 2021, an estimated 36.7 million Americans filled out brackets to predict the winners of each game.

This year, 68 teams will participate in the competition. Each team is placed in one of four geographic regions and is eliminated when it loses a game. The winners of each region will advance to the tournament semifinals, known as the Final Four, in April.

Read on to learn more about the history of March Madness. Then plug in the numbers to solve the equation and reveal a final fact.


Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Most tournament points scored by a single player during his college career, by Christian Laettner (1989-1992)


Kirby Lee/Alamy Stock Photo

Number of championships that UCLA has won, the most of any team


Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Times that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (as Lew Alcindor) won Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four (1967-69)— the most of any player



Average height, in inches, of NCAA Division I basketball players

NCAA Photos via Getty Images (1939)