1999 March Madness Preview
What's it all about?
Once the 64 teams have been picked (as always, expect some scorned teams to cry foul) they are broken up into four groups, ranked one through sixteen. The groups of 16 are sent to play a sort of mini-tournament in each of the four geographic regions of the US (East, West, South, and Midwest). The stronger the team, the lower the number seed a team will get. So the four so-called one-seeds are theoretically the four best teams in the nation heading into the tournament.
The teams are paired off in the first round. One-seeds play 16-seeds, two-seeds play 15-seeds, three-seeds play 14-seeds, etc. The tournament is single-elimination (you lose, you're out) and continues until only one team left from each of the four regions is left.
Those four teams are known as the "Final Four" and they meet in a predetermined place (this year it's St. Petersburg, Florida) to finish the tournament. The two semifinal games decide which two teams will play for the national championship. After a total of 63 tournament games, only one team from the 64 originally chosen will survive the tournament undefeated at 6-0. That team will be crowned as the 1999 NCAA national champion and leave its mark in the record books.