Encyclopedia: The bracket racket
The English word bracket comes from the French braguette and the Spanish bragueta, both of which mean the same thing: codpiece.
A codpiece, in medieval menswear, was a cloth pouch on the front of the pants that both concealed and called attention to the wearer's private parts. And so, this much can be said with absolute certainty: Men have been filling out brackets since at least the Middle Ages.
In the beginning, there were all manner of brackets. The architectural bracket ...
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ESPN COLLEGE BASKETBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA
It's all in the title ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History Of The Men's Game. Quite simply, the book covers it all. As the college season progresses, ESPN.com will be bringing you excerpts from the encyclopedia, including Jeff Sagarin's all-time ranking of 330 programs and essays written by Pat Forde, Andy Katz and Steve Rushin.