We are finally getting back to business with March Madness! The bracket has shrunk and the competition has intensified. We are in the second day of round three. After today, there will only be eight teams – The Elite Eight. I have my picks in and am doing okay. Of course, I missed some of those unpredictable upsets, but not too bad for a girl. I really don’t see how these guys get a near perfect bracket; I guess they are into this way more than I am.
While we are still on basketball, let go over some of the terms you will hear during the game. The picture to the right illustrates the zones on the court. First, the scoring: players can score two or three points with a field goal when they throw the ball into the basket from anywhere on the court. A two-point shot comes from anywhere around the basket within the blue, red or black area. A three-point shot occurs anywhere outside the black line around the basket. Some of the special ways to score include a jump shot, where the player jumps while shooting, usually several feet from the basket. Another special shot is a layup, where the player runs up to the basket and lays the ball up into the basket. For the one pointers, a foul shot earns one point when the player stands in front of the basket (within the black semi-circle) and throws it in after a foul has occurred. Fouls are penalties that occur during the playing of the game.
Some other terms you may hear include travel, double dribble, walk and carrying or palming. A major rule during the game is that the player with the ball must bounce the ball, or dribble, while they are walking or running. If they stop and hold the ball with two hands, they must pass the ball while keeping one foot stationary. These fouls are all variations of a violation of this rule. Specifically, carrying or palming is exactly what it sounds like – the player holds the ball in his hand while dribbling.
Some other common violations include a back court violation where an offensive player takes the ball back over the center line of the court after they have driven down toward their basket. A charge is also an offensive foul where the player with the ball runs into a player who is not moving. A technical foul is given when a player, non-player or a coach exhibits unsportsman-like conduct during the game.
Some other terms you may here during the game are rebound, assist, drive, fast break, jump ball, and turnover. A rebound is when someone catches the ball after someone throws (or shoots) it and misses the basket. An assist occurs when one player passes the ball to another player who scores. A drive and a fast break are similar – they are both where a player goes down the court quickly to the basket to score. A turnover is simply a change in possession – the other team gets the ball.
There are lots more terms including zones, player designations and different types of plays. Since we are almost finished with the season, I will save these for next season. Right now, I will finish out with the madness and find out how close I came with my predictions. By the time the tournament is over I will also be over it. Did I say I was ready for baseball?