The Best Single Elimination Tournament In Sports

List Rules
Vote up the most fun tourneys to watch.

What is the best single elimination tournament? The single elimination tournament bracket is one of the best tournament formats in sports. Each team has one chance to prove themselves in a win or go home, winner take all match. Single elimination sports are exhilirating and provide instant drama in close games. What is the best single elimination tournament? What winner take all tourneys do you love to watch.

When it comes to single elimination tourneys, nothing beats college basketball's March Madness. Every spring, 68 NCAA college hoops teams get together to battle it out - win or go home style - and decide the National Champion. The NFL playoffs are another great example of a single elimination tourney and as we've seen in the NFL, either team can usually win on any given Sunday.

Vote up your favorite single elimination tournament, and help decide what is the top single elimination tournament played annually. 

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  • NCAA March Madness
    Photo: NCAA.com
    1
    29 votes

    NCAA March Madness

    Number of Teams: 68

    Unique Features: The first round features four "play-in" games by the lowest seeds and "last four teams in." Thirty-two teams automatically qualify, while 36 earn entry at-large. 

    March Madness is a popular term for season-ending basketball tournaments played in March. March Madness is also a registered trademark currently owned exclusively by the NCAA. H. V. Porter, an official with the Illinois High School Association (and later a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame), was the first person to use March Madness to describe a basketball tournament. Porter published an essay named March Madness during 1939, and during 1942 used the phrase in a poem, Basketball Ides of March. Through the years the use of March Madness was increased, especially in Illinois, Indiana, and other parts of the Midwest. During this period the term was used almost exclusively in reference to ...more
  • NFL Playoffs
    Photo: NFL
    2
    30 votes

    Number of Teams: 14

    Unique Features: First Round Byes for #1 Seeds

    The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from the week after Labor Day to the week after Christmas, with each team playing sixteen games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, played between the champions of ...more
  • NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament
    Photo: NCAA
    3
    17 votes

    NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament

    Number of Teams: 16

    Unique Features: Six conference champions qualify automatically and ten teams are seeded via at-large bids. The semifinals are known colloquially as the "Frozen Four."

  • Coupe de France
    Photo: Coupe de France
    4
    10 votes

    Coupe de France

    Number of Teams: 8,506 eligible (approx. 7,300 annually)

    Unique Features: The competition is usually beneficial to amateur clubs because it forces higher-ranked clubs, usually professional clubs, to play as the away team when drawn against lower-league opposition, if they are competing two levels below them.

  • FA Cup
    Photo: FA Cup
    5
    13 votes

    FA Cup

    Number of Teams: 736

    Unique Features: The competition is open to any eligible club in the English football league system.

    The Football Association, also known simply as the FA, is the governing body of football in England, and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory. The FA sanctions all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, and indirectly at local level through the County Football Associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the FA Cup. It is also responsible for appointing the management of the men's, women's and youth national football teams. The FA is a member of ...more
  • World Snooker Championship
    Photo: World Snooker Championship
    6
    12 votes

    World Snooker Championship

    Number of Players: 32

    Unique Features: The top 16 players in the world rankings qualify automatically, while another 16 players win places through a qualification tournament.