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‘March Madness’ phrase has ties to Quad Cities Area

The man who coined the term “March Madness” has ties to Keithsburg, Illinois.

According to marchmadness.org, the term March Madness was originally for state high school basketball tournaments and was created by a man named Henry V. Porter who wrote an essay titled March Madness in 1939.

Porter was also a principal at the high school in Keithsburg, Illinois.

“We know for sure that he was principal in the 1914-1915 school year,” said Stephanie Braucht, who is on the Board of Directors at the Mercer County Historical Society.

Braucht started looking into the history behind the term when her son, who is an assistant college basketball at Illinois College, told her about the poem “Basketball Ides of March.”

“He found information that indicated that the man who wrote that poem had once taught in Keithsburg,” said Braucht, “Not only had he taught in Keithsburg and written that poem, about the ‘Basketball Ides of March,’ he also is the person who is credited with having coined the term ‘March Madness.'”

Information about Porter living in Keithsburg was found at the Keithsburg Museum.

Related: How our NCAA bracket was pulled from a hat

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