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Guide: How to Make a March Madness Bracket

March Madness is here. It’s one of the best times in the sporting world as 68 teams compete for a shot at a National Championship in college basketball. Now, you want to fill out a bracket but you don’t know where to start. Here’s what you need to know about how to make a March Madness bracket this year.

Where to Find the NCAA Tournament Bracket

If you are looking for a place to find and fill out your bracket, you can find brackets on the top sporting websites. These include the likes of ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, the official NCAA website, and more. Almost all major publications have a printable bracket if you are looking for an option.

March Madness Tournament Bracket Challenges and Contests

You will find all sorts of March Madness bracket challenges and contests for the tournament. Many of these can be filled out online. For example, ESPN has an official March Madness bracket challenge where you can compete against friends and celebrities while making picks for the college basketball tourney.

Check out some of the online bracket challenges to see the prizes and rewards for having the best bracket. There are also many groups that run a bracket pool or office pool to join. You’ll find no shortage of options if you are looking to compete with your NCAA bracket.

These bracket challenges will award you points for how many correct picks you make during the tournament. There are a certain number of points per round you can earn based on the number of games. Also, an online bracket will show you which teams you picked correctly so you don’t have to manually track a large number of games at once.

Filling out Your NCAA March Madness Bracket

You have either printed your bracket or are looking at an online version. It’s time to make your picks and fill out your NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket. Here are a few things you need to consider when making your selections.

When to Have it Filled Out

After the Selection Sunday show reveals the matchups, you can start filling out your bracket. With most brackets, you will have until the First Round begins on the Thursday following the selection show to make your picks.

There are First Four games on Tuesday and Wednesday but both teams are usually represented on a bracket as a pick. For example, if Saint Louis and Vermont were playing in a First Four game, your bracket would should Saint Louis/Vermont in the First Round.

Specific deadlines for filling out bracket games will depend on the challenge or pool you are in. Be sure to check the rules if you have any questions. Many people quickly start to pick teams to reach the Sweet 16, Final Four, and Championship Game after the revealing of the bracket.

How to Fill it Out

Filling out the bracket can be as easy or difficult as you want. You will see four regions with teams seeded 1 through 16. Make your way from region to region and select the team you believe will win each matchup. Make your way through the First Round, Second Round, and so on. The number of teams will get smaller and smaller until you reach the championship game.

If you are filling out a printable bracket, you will see the entire list of matchups. If you are using a computer to make picks, it might show you a region at a time. Regardless, you are making picks just the same. When you get down to two teams, select the team you believe will end up winning the tournament.

The higher seeds such as 1 through 4 represent the better teams in the tournament. The number 1 seeds are the best teams. Most brackets will show the team’s wins and losses so you can compare the records in the matchup.

The score of the championship game can sometimes be used as a tiebreaker. You have to enter what you believe the final score of the title game would be.

Who Do You Pick To Win

Your strategy is entirely up to you. Some people just start picking games based on the seeding. Others end up flipping a coin on a tough matchup. You can research while watching conference tournaments or look at a team’s strength of schedule. It’s up to you.

Let’s face the facts, it’s extremely difficult to be successful when picking a bracket. There are so many upsets and chaos just in the first round of the tournament alone. This shouldn’t stop you from filling out a bracket. Who knows? Maybe your team can make it all the way to the Final Four.

How Many Brackets Should You Fill Out

You can fill out as many printable brackets as you want. If you are entering some sort of bracket challenge or pool, it’s likely you will only be able to enter one bracket. There might be some challenges on the internet where you can enter as many random brackets as you want.

The Rounds of the NCAA Tournament

As you make picks from the tournament field, you will start with the First and Second Rounds. Next up is the Sweet 16. Then the Elite Eight and Final Four before you reach the National Championship game. It takes six games for a team to win the entire tournament. If a team from the First Four wins it all, it would take seven wins.

How to Make a March Madness Bracket FAQs

How many teams are there in March Madness?

The total number of teams is 68 for the tournament. It expanded from 64 teams to 68 back in 2011.

When is the March Madness bracket released?

The men’s basketball championship bracket for March Madness is released on Selection Sunday. In 2023. Selection Sunday is on March 12 ad 6 p.m. eastern time. Brackets are immediately available following the reveal of the teams.

How are the NCAA men’s basketball teams picked for the tournament?

An NCAA selection committee picks the 68-team field with automatic and at-large bids. There are 32 automatic bids in each year’s tournament since it expanded to 68 teams in 2011.

What websites have a bracket tournament challenge?

Many top sports sites such as ESPN and Yahoo have a bracket challenge where you can compete for prizes.