Basketball For Dummies book cover

Basketball For Dummies

By: Richard Phelps and Tim Bourret Published: 10-11-2011

The easy way to get the ins, outs, and intrigue on this beloved sport

The National Basketball Association (NBA), with 30 teams and an average attendance of more than 17,000 spectators per game, is the richest and most popular basketball league — and arguably the most viewed American sport — in the world. This new edition of Basketball For Dummies not only covers the rules and regulations of the NBA, but offers coverage on the WNBA, NCAA, and international basketball leagues.

Basketball For Dummies is a valuable resource to the many fans of this beloved sport, covering everything from players and personalities in the game to rules, regulations, and equipment. Completely updated with information and intrigue that's occurred in the sport since publication of the previous edition, Basketball For Dummies gets you up to speed on everything from NCAA Tournament brackets to college players en route to the NBA.

  • Coverage of the rules and regulations of the NBA
  • Interesting topics like LeBron the Phenom, ESPN'S influence on the NBA, and the UCONN women's basketball dynasty
  • Digger's take on John Wooden

Whether you're a basketball player or a courtside spectator, Basketball For Dummies is a slam-dunk of information and intrigue for anyone who loves the sport.

Articles From Basketball For Dummies

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5 results
What Is NCAA March Madness?

Article / Updated 03-22-2022

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hosts a basketball tournament every year that begins the week of March 15. The tournament includes 68 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams. The men’s tournament is televised on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV network affiliate stations; the women’s tournament will be available on ESPN, the ESPN app, and Sling TV. The 2022 schedule for the men’s tournament is as follows: Selection Sunday: March 13 (brackets, seeds, and team selections) First four: March 15-16 First round: March 17-18 Second round: March 19-20 Sweet 16: March 24-25 Elite Eight: March 26-27 Final Four: April 2 National Championship: April 4 The 2022 schedule for the women’s tournament is as follows: Selection Sunday: March 13 (brackets, seeds, and team selections) First four: March 16-17 First round: March 18-19 Second round: March 20-21 Sweet 16/Elite Eight: March 25-28 Final Four: April 1 National Championship: April 3 Selection Sunday Each year on Selection Sunday, 32 teams gain automatic entry into the tournament due to winning their conference’s championships. The remaining teams rely on a selection committee to be granted entry into the tournament. This process takes place on the Sunday before the March Madness Tournament begins and, therefore, is appropriately named Selection Sunday. It is also the day when the brackets and seeds are released to the public. Brackets are the format in which the tournament runs. For example, on the day of the First Four games, there will be four brackets and eight teams playing; the four losing teams will then be removed from the tournament and the four winning teams will move to their new brackets and prepare for the next round of games. After the First Four, the regular tournament begins with 64 brackets including the winning teams that played in the First Four. The winner from each bracket will move on to the next set of brackets until eventually all teams have been “weeded” out and only two remain to play for the championship game. Seeds are essentially committee rankings. The teams in each division are ranked in descending order, with the strongest team (or team most likely to win) ranked in the number-one spot and the weakest team in that division is ranked number 16. The brackets are split up accordingly so the tournament's powerhouse teams are evenly distributed within the 64 brackets. The First Four round The First Four refers to the number of matches/brackets played — not number of teams. The First Four includes the eight lowest ranking teams in the men's division that play against each other, and the four losing teams are removed from the tournament. This part of the tournament is also known as “First Four Out” since four of the teams will lose out of the tournament before it even has really begun. The First Four Out was designed to get the 68 men's teams down to 64 so that the number of teams is the same as in the women's divisions. The brackets and dates, therefore, can be the same for both the men and women divisions. This part of the tournament applies only to the men's teams. In the First Round, those 64 teams play against each other to move on to the Second Round. Second round In the Second Round, the remaining 32 teams play in 16 brackets, and the winners of each bracket then move on to the regional semi-finals (Sweet 16 round); the losers again are removed from the tournament. Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds The regional semi-finals, also known as the Sweet Sixteen, is where the final sixteen teams are set up in matches against other teams within their regional divisions. The divisions are broken up into geographical areas and listed as follows: East West South Midwest The winners of the regional semi-finals are then moved to the regional finals where only eight teams remain, known as the Elite Eight. These eight teams play head-to-head to determine the winners, and the remaining four teams from all regions are matched up in the national semi-finals. The Final Four After regional finals, the remaining four teams from all regions are eligible to play in the national semi-finals. These remaining four teams are known as “The Final Four,” and this is where many people start watching the tournament. The final four teams then play, and the two winners from the national semi-finals move on to the national finals. Championship game The national finals or championship game is where the final two teams play to determine the winner of the current year's March Madness tournament. The NCAA has changed the format of the game several times in its history, as well as the name. In recent years the name of the tournament has been simply “NCAA Division 1 Tournament,” but the more popular March Madness title will always remain.

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Basketball For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 01-21-2022

Basketball is the most popular participatory sport in the United States — even more popular than Angry Birds. So whether you're a basketball player or a basketball fan, you're in with the popular crowd. The sport combines physical prowess, intelligence, grace, and coordination. Although more than 46 million Americans play basketball, the game is flexible enough to enable each player to develop individual style. It all comes down to one basic idea: Throw the ball through the hoop!

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Understanding Player Positions in Basketball

Article / Updated 12-23-2019

The game of basketball includes a five-player team, which consist of the following basketball positions: two guards, two forwards, and one center scores points. The team gains point by getting the ball through the hoop. Each basketball player has a specific position with set responsibilities and each call for different physical requirements and skills. Point Guard: Usually the shortest player on the team. Should be the team's best passer and ball handler; not primarily a shooter. Traditional role is to push the ball upcourt and start the offensive wheels turning. Should either take the ball to the basket or remain near the top of the key, ready to retreat on defense. Best and brightest: Derrick Rose. Shooting Guard: Generally taller than a point guard but shorter than a small forward. Not necessarily a great ball handler, but normally the team's best perimeter shooter. A good shooting guard (or two guard) comes off screens set by taller teammates prepared to shoot, pass, or drive to the basket. Also tries to grab rebounds on offense. Best and brightest: Dwyane Wade. Small Forward: The all-purpose player on offense: aggressive and strong; tall enough to mix it up inside but agile enough to handle the ball and shoot well. Must be able to score both from the perimeter and from inside of the basketball court. Best and brightest: Carmelo Anthony. Power Forward: Has muscles or at least a little bulk. Must be able to catch passes and hit shots near the basket. A good, rugged rebounder, but athletic enough to move with some quickness around the lane on offense and defense. Expected to score when given the opportunity on the baseline, much like a center, but usually has a range of up to 15 feet all around the basket. Best and brightest: Pau Gasol. Center: Usually the tallest player on the team. Should be able to post up offensively — that is, receive the ball with his back to the basket and use pivot moves to hit a variety of short jumpers, hook shots, and dunks. Also must know how to find the open player in the paint and grab offensive rebounds. Best and brightest: Dwight Howard.

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Basketball Terms and Phrases to Know

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

As with any sport, basketball has its own terms and phrases to describe game moves, plays, positions, and more. Knowing some basketball lingo will help you to enjoy the game more while you play or watch from courtside seats — or your sofa. alley-oop: A designed play in which a player lobs the ball toward the basket and a teammate jumps up, catches the ball in midair, and usually dunks it. block out (or box out): Using the body to block or shield an opponent in order to gain better position to grab a rebound. boards: Rebounds. brick or clank: An especially ugly, misfired shot that clanks hard off the rim. bucket: A good multipurpose word that can mean the basket itself or a made basket; also can be used as an adjective for an especially good shooter, as in "That guy is bucket." bury a jumper: To make an especially pretty jump shot. cager: A basketball player. charity stripe: The free throw line. deuce: A made field goal, worth two points. downtown: A long way from the basket, as in, "He just hit that shot from downtown!" hack: A foul. hole: a basket, as in "take it to the hole." hoop: a basket. hops: Jumping ability. H-O-R-S-E: A popular game in which one player makes a shot and his opponent must make the identical shot. Failure to do so results in gaining a letter (starting with "h"). in the paint: In the free throw lane. nothin' but net: A shot that goes through the rim without touching the rim or any other part of the basket. rock: Slang for ball, as in "shoot the rock" or "pass the rock." T: technical foul. take it to the hole: To drive toward the basket in an attempt to score. trey: A made field goal from behind the three-point arc, worth three points. 21: A game in which any number of players can play. The player who has the ball attempts to score while all other players defend. A made shot results in two points, plus you are given up to three consecutive free throws, each worth one point. walk: To travel.

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Visit a Basketball Hall of Fame

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

When people talk about the basketball hall of fame, they're likely referring to the granddaddy of 'em all, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. But other halls of fame dedicated to this sport are no less enjoyable to visit. First, take a virtual pilgrimage to Springfield: Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Where can a basketball fan find nearly 300 hall-of-fame inductees and more than 40,000 square feet of basketball history? Look no further than the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Located on the picturesque banks of the Connecticut River, the museum is a fitting shrine to the game Dr. James Naismith invented more than a century ago. The landmark structure is one of the world's most distinctive monuments punctuating the Springfield skyline and stirring the spirits of basketball fans everywhere. Hundreds of interactive exhibits share the spotlight with skills challenges, live clinics, and shooting contests. And of course there is enough basketball history to impress the world's most avid sports fans. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2009. National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame The National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, located in Kansas City, Missouri, is a hall of fame and museum dedicated to college basketball. The museum is an integral portion of the College Basketball Experience created by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), located at the Sprint Center. The hall is meant as a complement to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, with a focus strictly on those who have contributed greatly to college basketball. Women's Basketball Hall of Fame The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame opened in June 1999 in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is the only facility of its kind dedicated to all levels of women's basketball. The Hall is filled with multimedia presentations and numerous basketball artifacts, photographs, scrapbooks, medals, trophies, and old uniforms that bring the history of women's basketball to life. In the State Farm Tip-Off theater, you will see Hoopful of Hope, a 17-minute video production covering the history of our game. The production shows some of the all-time greats from the sport including players, coaches, and teams from AAU, collegiate, and professional organizations.

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