Whoever came up with the idea of March Madness must be one of the most savvy business people ever. Here I am, almost a week after UCLA woefully lost, still watching basketball games of teams for which I have no affiliation . . . other than that I chose them in my bracket.
Why March Madness is the perfect sports set-up monetarily and entertainment-wise:
One and done tournament style: Unlike championship series (World Series, NBA championship), every game could be your last game and therefore, everyone cheering for that team will watch and maybe even go to that game (like me). Furthermore, unlike a pure championship game (Superbowl), there are so many good games to watch preceding the final game.
The Cinderellas: Related to the one and done style, March Madness opens up for the possibility for a lower-ranked team to win-it-all. Moreover, it garners a lot of positive publicity if a lower-seeded team who no one has ever heard of advances really far. I never knew anything about George Mason University until March Madness a few years ago.
Brackets: People are competitive, and to have a one-time bracket you have to fill (unlike a fantasy team you have to manage weekly), you are going to get a lot of people to participate. Moreover, it does not take any knowledge to decently fill out a bracket, so you are going to have a broader range of people following games, making sure their bracket stays in tact.
Alliteration: I am a big fan of alliteration. Sweet Sixteen. Elite Eight. Final Four. March Madness!
The Schedule: I think the fact that everything happens in a matter of weeks, and games are on television Thursday-Sunday pretty much all day, hooks people in moreso than if all the games were spread out.
The Schools: 64 schools representing all conferences, ranging from tiny Jesuits schools to huge public schools means a lot of different people watching. I mean, I never thought I would get to see both UCLA and AU in the tournament.