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March Madness

[ 2009-04-03 10:51]     字号 [] [] []  
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March Madness

Q:Wider coverage of the single-elimination tournament on the Internet is just one reason for the expanding interest in March Madness. 

Could you explain “March Madness”? Is it popular in American offices?
March Madness refers almost exclusively to American college basketball, or the nation-wide NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Tournament to be exact.

Tough for the Chinese to understand, perhaps, but Americans are mad about college basketball – the game itself was invented on a college campus (Springfield College, Massachusetts) by a Canadian named James Naismith, back in 1891…

To make a long story short, hundreds of US universities and college play the game of basketball throughout autumn, winter and spring. Each spring, the top college teams meet in the NCAA Tournament, which is held throughout the month of March, culminating in the Final Four pitting the four overall regional winners for the college basketball championship.

Now, March Madness. The term derives from the phrase “mad as March hare” describing the behaviors of hare that mate in the month of March. Mating hares are, you know, restless, rampaging, wild creatures. In short, mad. Hence “March Madness” signifies the fierceness of the NCAA tournament and the fanatic atmosphere created by fans watching the games.

About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

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