Get Your Brackets Ready!
March is already here, which means the madness that is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is rapidly approaching. Each year, the top 68 teams from Division 1 schools in the nation compete in a single game elimination tournament. In 2011, the NCAA adjusted the quantity of schools that participate from 64 to 68, which changed the Opening Round (also known as the play-in game) into the First Four. The University of Dayton traditionally hosts the First Four, which narrows the competition from 68 teams down to 64. The 4 schools that win in Dayton will move on to become 16 seeds & face the #1 seeded team in each of the 4 respected regions. This year, the first set of First & Second Round games will take place in Providence, RI at the Dunkin Donuts Center, Des Moines, IA at the Wells Fargo Arena, Raleigh, NC at the PNC Arena, Denver, CO at the Pepsi Center on March 17 and 19. Then on March 18 and 20, the second set of games in the First & Second Round will be played in Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center, St. Louis, MO at the Scottrade Center, Oklahoma City, OK at the Chesapeake Energy Center, and Spokane, WA at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. After the frenzy of 48 First & Second Round games in 4 days, the Sweet Sixteen teams will face off to narrow the field down to the Elite Eight. On March 24 and 26, the South Regional will be played at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY with the West Regional in Anaheim, CA at the Honda Center. The East & Midwest Regional will take place on March 25 and 27 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA & United Center in Chicago. The final four teams from that weekend will move on to NRG Stadium in Houston, TX where the two victorious schools will play for the National Championship.
The teams for this year’s tournament bracket will be determined on Selection Sunday, March 13 at 5:30pm Eastern at NCAA.com and televised nationally on CBS. Some early favorites looking to secure a #1 seed are Kansas, Virginia, Villanova, and North Carolina. Kansas is favored to be the overall #1 seed & has been a #1 seed eleven times which ranks third in history behind Duke (12) & North Carolina (13). The Jayhawks have the longest active streak of consecutive tournament appearances with 22. This year, there hasn’t been one dominant school like in previous years so the tournament is up for grabs. Brackets will be busted, Cinderellas will be born & giants will fall, embrace the madness of March! Tickets for all tournament games can be purchased here.