Many sports use a tournament format to decide their champion, including professional sports. The "Final Four" of college basketball refers to the semifinal round of the Division I Men's or Women's Basketball Tournament. In this round, there are four teams left, and two games are played to determine which two teams will head to the finals.
The words "Final Four" belong only to college basketball. In fact, if you watch college basketball you will frequently hear the term, especially from CBS, which uses the phrase "Road to the Final Four" in its coverage.
Making it to the Final Four means that a team won its first four tournament games, and it only has to win two more to be the national champions. A team that reaches this point in the tournament is already envisioning the hanging of a National Championship banner from the rafters of its home arena, which is a common tradition.
As mentioned before, the Final Fours are played in April, but they are still full of the March Madness syndrome. Typically, the men's semifinal games are played on the first Saturday in April, and the women's are played on the first Sunday. The winners of those games move on to face each other in their respective championship games, which are played on the subsequent Monday.
For more information on March Madness, college basketball and related topics, check out the links on the next page.