What People Will
The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship,
better known as “March Madness” or
“The Big Dance” features three weeks
of a single elimination college basketball tournament
in March and April to determine the college basketball
champion for the year. In the span of three weeks,
these 65 teams will be whittled down to 32, 16,
8, 4, 2, and then 1, as the winners advance and
the losers are eliminated.
Round 0: Play-in round. The 64
& 65th seeded teams play to determine the
Round 1 & 2: Opening rounds.
64 teams play on Thurs/Fri. The winning 32 teams
play on Sat/Sun. These rounds feature 4 days of
basically non-stop play. There are 8 tournament
sites for first 2 rounds.
Round 3: Sweet Sixteen (Regional
semi-finals) played second Thurs/Fri. Prestigious
to make it to this round or further.
Round 4: Elite eight (Regional
finals) played the second Sat/Sun.
Round 5: Final Four (National
semi-finals) played third Sat. Tournament is shifted
to final location (Atlanta in 2007).
Round 6: Championship game played
3 days later on Mon.
Who gets to go?
There are two ways teams qualify to play in the
tournament. First, the champions of the 31 different
conferences all receive an “automatic bid”
to the tournament. Second, teams can receive an
“at-large berth” for the remaining
34 slots. An NCAA national selection committee
fills these at-large bids with what they consider
to be the best teams across the country and use
the records, strength of schedule, etc. to make
The selection committee also seeds a team so
that the best teams have the easiest path to victory.
With four different regions, there are 16 teams
in each section. The match-ups will be as follows
1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, 3 vs. 14, 4 vs. 13, 5 vs.
12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10, and 8 vs. 9.