The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness is one of the many traditions and thrilling events that bring together more than 60 college basketball teams from the D-1 level, the top-tier level of intercollegiate athletics accepting players from around the globe.
The most-awaited 2022 NBA Draft has recently been concluded with Paolo Banchero from Duke University taking the top spot drafted by Orlando Magic, followed by Gonzaga University’s Chet Holmgren drafted by Thunder; Auburn University’s Jabari Smith drafted by Rockets, University of Iowa’s Keegan Murray drafted by Kings; and Purdue University’s Jaden Ivey drafted by Pistons. Ranked as the number one most popular sports event with the highest maximum monthly search volume, reaching 185 million Google searches, it is unsurprising that NBA’s annual drafting event also garners worldwide viewership. NBA draft, which happens every June, not only represents the future of professional basketball but also is a life-changing moment for many college basketball players.
Tracing back to its creation in the 1890s by Canadian American physical education instructor Dr. James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, basketball has been a global phenomenon for hundreds of years now– played in the streets, in schools, and professionally. In the US, college basketball has gained most of the Americans’ interest according to a Statista report including the March Madness championship game that raises billions of dollars in revenue annually.
Here are some fascinating facts about college basketball in the US;
- Several collegiate athletic bodies govern the sport, particularly at the top-tier level, including National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), among many others. These associations offer their athletes various scholarship packages by division level.
- For international students who are simply fascinated with the bball for various reasons other than playing professionally in the future, there are over 1,330 basketball colleges in the US that offer competitive programmes designed for both men’s and women’s basketball. Some even offer basketball scholarships.
- International students can really take part in college athletics including basketball, based on NCAA’s 2019-2020 report, which revealed that more than 21,000 international student-athletes have enrolled and competed at NCAA schools. Students from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Netherlands have joined the Division 1 level in 2019-2020.
- College basketball simply injects fun traditions into a highly competitive sport. Several traditions that reflect the unapologetic ways of enjoying the game include John Brown University’s toilet paper game wherein fans of the Golden Eagles fling toilet paper onto the court at the first field goal, recording the first technical foul of the season. In every Duke Blue Devils basketball game, you will witness the Cameron Crazies going… uhm.. wacky and mocking opposing players. The blue-faced supporters also had to camp “Krzyzewskiville” to be a certified member. Taylor University’s Silent Night pushes creativity of bball fandom to the next level. Students dressed in odd costumes display a different kind of support in the Odle Arena by staying completely silent until the Trojans score their 10th point and then they unleash chaos.