There's something surreal about the men's NCAA basketball tournament. One of the great things about the tournament is the excitement created by the one and out format if you lose. The uncertainty creates a level thrilling basketball that's only found at the college level. Sixty-four teams will be competing to for a chance at the National Title. The teams can get to the tournament by means of two ways. The first way is to be highly ranked by a system called the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), which was formulated to help the NCAA basketball committee assemble and seed the teams for the tournament. The true selection process by the RPI is unknown but many former selection committee members have acknowledged that it is derived from three components including a team's winning percentage (25%), it's opponent's winning percentage (50%), and its opponents opponent's winning percentage (25%). The other possibility of going to the tournament is to win the conference tournament, which teams belong. For those teams who have little hope of getting an at-large bid by the RPI system, they have a chance at the NCAA tournament by winning their conference tournament. Teams all across the nation are scrambling at a shot for this prestigious tournament. The tournament itself is better known as "March Madness." Sports analysts, commentators, and announcers use of metaphoric terminology to help describe, explain, and illustrate why the men's NCAA basketball tournament is so highly prestigious.
A metaphor allows one to describe a text so that it gives meaning and is understandable to others. Michael Osborn and Douglas Ehninger suggest that that a metaphor functions as a "communicative stimulus that allows a user to identify an idea or object through a sign which generally denotes an entirely different idea or object. Metaphor also functions as a mental response because of the interaction between ideas suggested by the terms usual denotation and its special denotation in the particular context.