Your March Madness prayers have been answered.
No, the Final Four hasn't been considered a national holiday. However, we've got something almost as awesome.
On March 2, CBS Sports Network will present 75 Years of NCAA March Madness: The Ultimate Bracket Unveiled by Northwestern Mutual (CBS Sports Network, 7-9 p.m.), where we place each of the 74 NCAA Division I men's tournament champions throughout the history of the tournament up against each other in a bracket-style competition.
This bracket will be the bracket to end all NCAA champion arguments.
“You really couldn't argue with the results because every team was a champion,” CBS Sports network analyst Mateen Cleaves said. “Every team was great in its own right.”
So when someone asks, “Which of John Wooden's UCLA teams was the best?” the Ultimate Bracket will have the definitive answer.
|(Click to enlarge) (CBS Sports)|
The Ultimate Bracket was seeded by an objective formula that included these variables:
- Each team's regular-season record
- Average margin of victory
- First-Team All-Americans.
To trim the field of 74 national champions to the standard 64-team single-elimination tournament we created a “First Ten” with 10 first-round games. The 74 NCAA champions were grouped by era into sub-regions of nine or 10 teams.
Once the field of 64 was set, the Ultimate Bracket Champion was decided using every statistic available including pace-adjusted team and player stats and strength of schedule. Our computers then staged every game in the bracket, one possession at a time, 50,000 times. The team that won the higher percentage of the 50,000 simulations advanced to the next round.
CBS Sports Network analysts Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis, Wally Szczerbiak, Mateen Cleaves and CBSSports.com college basketball insider Gary Parrish will debate the bracket alongside host Greg Gumbel. After seven rounds of play, the Ultimate Champion will be revealed. You can also get in on the debate using the hash tag #MM75 on Twitter.
Let us know who you think will be the Ultimate Champion. Will perennial favorites Duke come out on top? Will the UNLV Running Rebels from the 90s prove too much for the field? Or maybe Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas will crush Lew Alcindor's UCLA Bruins.
Only the bracket knows.