One of the most significant and most exciting sports events is March Madness. For those who do not know it yet, it is the annual NCAA college basketball tournament, generally held throughout March every year. It is a single-elimination tournament featuring 68 college basketball teams that will compete against each other through a process called ‘seeding’ to determine the national champion.
It first started in 1939 when the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament happened, where a total of 8 teams competed for the championship; thereafter, it was followed with an annual competition every year.
For this year 2020, it will start with the Selection Sunday on March 15, 2020. There are a lot of things to keep track of for this year’s March Madness. To help you stay on track and to make sure that you do not miss out on any of the experience, we have listed this year’s schedule. Plus, we added a few things you should know about March Madness to complete your NCAA tournament experience.
March Madness schedule for the 2020 NCAA tournament
The following are set to be timeline for the NCAA tournament throughout March: Selection Sunday shall be on March 15, 2020; it will be followed by the First Four match on Tuesday and Wednesday, that is, March 17-18, 2020; then, the NCAA Tournament Round 1 shall be on Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20, 2020.
The Round 2 shall be on Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22, 2020; next will be the Sweet 16, which shall be on Thursday, March 26, and Friday, March 27, 2020; then, the Elite 8 shall be on Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29, 2020; after that, the Final Four shall be on Saturday, April 4, 2020; and finally, the 2020 NCAA championship game will follow which is set to be held on Monday, April 6, 2020
How are teams picked
There will be sixty-eight (68) teams who will compete for seven (7) rounds to be part of the NCAA odds and to win the National Championship. These 68 teams will undergo the following process:
The members of the Division I men’s basketball committee will evaluate the teams during the selection process to determine selections, seeding, and bracketing. The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee will be composed of ten (10) members who will be responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the field for the NCAA Tournament.
Ultimately, there are three (3) stages to the process: selecting the 36 best at-large teams, seeding the field of 68 teams, and placing the teams into the championship bracket.
In the selection stage, each committee member receives a ballot with two (2) columns. In the first column, they shall identify not more than 36 teams that they think should be included in the at-large selections (AL). As for the second column, they will identify teams that will receive consideration (C) for the so-called at- large berth.
This ballot shall be the basis for their selection.
Next, comes seeding which happens on Selection Sunday, before any tournament game is played. Here, the committee will create a “seed list” ranking the teams from 1 to 68, with the best team, based on the regular season and conference tournament performance, sitting at number 1. This seed list shall be the sequence in which the teams will be placed in the bracket.
Once the list is finalized, the teams are placed in the championship bracket throughout the four regions: East, South, West, and Midwest.
The East Regional games will be in New York, New York; the South Regional games will be in Houston, Texas; the West Regional will be in Los Angeles, California; and the Midwest Regional will be in Indianapolis, Indiana.
After that, the regional winning teams will battle out in the Semifinal games on Saturday, April 4, with each regional winner facing off each other to get a chance to be in the championship game on April 6, 2020, at Atlanta, Georgia.
The single-elimination tournament of 68 teams is one exciting sports event to look forward to this March 2020. At this point, where we already have a basic knowledge of how the teams are grouped and matched, we will have a better understanding of how the game shall go. It will make more sense and will be more exciting.
It will be 67 games over 21 days. It is jam-packed! Yes, it will be a lot to take in, but it will surely be an exhilarating and worthwhile 21 days. The NCAA basketball tournament does not fall short of its branding ‘March Madness’. No wonder it is called such! The excitement we will be going through the entire month will be hard to contain. Perhaps, when Henry V. Porter coined the term, he must have felt the same excitement we are all going through annually for the NCAA basketball tournament.