The March Madness Tradition


Joey Jagodzinski

March Madness is one of the most well known sporting events in America. Many people enjoy watching as soon as NBA players show their skills and many enjoy trying to make a perfect bracket. Although many people know what March Madness is they don’t know where the name March Madness came from. The term March Madness was created by Henry V. Porter who used it to describe the annual tournament of Illinois high schools in an essay that appeared in ISHA magazine in 1939. Soon after many people started to use it as the name of the tournament and the tournament’s size started to grow to nearly 900 schools. In 1973 the ISHA started to exclusively call the tournament “March Madness” and used it for the years to come. In 1977 Jim Enright was enlisted to write about the history of the basketball tournament and in 1989 they made an official video of the history of the basketball tournament. Both the video and book were sold nationwide and told the full story of how the tournament came to be. Today the tournament is 8 tournaments that then decide the 8 teams that will play for State finals. They even added a contest consisting of the best 3 point shooters from different schools. The money earned from these tournaments are mainly used to fund college scholarships for girls and boys. This tournament also helped to unify Illinois as a state during the time of WWII.