How Many Teams are in March Madness
It’s one of the most exciting times of the year. Teams from across the country compete in a single-elimination college basketball tournament for a shot at a national title. It’s March Madness! So, how many teams make the tourney? Here’s what you need to know about how many teams are in March Madness.
How Many Teams are in the NCAA Tournament?
The March Madness Tournament takes place every year starting in mid-March and running until the beginning of April. There are a total of 68 teams that make up the tournament field for the Men’s and Women’s Championships. The men increased the number of teams to 68 back in 2011 while the women just made the bump in 2022.
Each tournament previously had 64 teams. The men’s basketball championship made the move to 64 teams in 1985. That year, Villanova won the National Championship in a major upset over the Georgetown Hoyas.
When Does March Madness Start?
The NCAA Division I basketball tournament begins with the games of the First Four in mid-March. For the 2023 NCAA Tourney, the First Four games begin on Tuesday, March 14. The First Four consists of eight teams that are competing in four play-in games.
Then, the First Round starts on Thursday, March 16. The First and Second rounds conclude on Sunday, March 19. The remaining teams continue in the tournament bracket to the Sweet 16.
The NCAA March Madness Bracket
The NCAA Tournament bracket is divided up into four regions that are made up of 16 teams each. The 16 teams are seeded from numbers 1-16. A number 1 seed, is the highest and is made up of four of the best teams in the nation. The 16 seeds are usually teams from smaller conferences that won their conference tournament and the teams receive an automatic bid.
These teams battle it out for a shot at being one of two teams left standing to compete for a national championship. A team needs to win six games in a row to win it all. If you start in the First Four, you would need to win seven games to win the national title.
Bids to the NCAA Tournament
There are two types of bids a team can earn to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. These are automatic and at-large bids. There are 32 automatic bids in NCAA Division I men’s basketball that go out to teams that win their conference tournaments. These 32 teams are in regardless of record because they won their tournament.
At-large teams earn a spot in the tournament and qualify for March Madness based on their record, strength of schedule, and more. The decision on who makes the tournament is up to an NCAA Selection Committee. There are a total of 38 teams that receive an at-large bid to the tournament.
The teams are chosen for the tournament on Selection Sunday. It takes place on the Sunday before the tournament begins and the selection committee reveals the entire 68-team bracket on national television. The selection show takes place on CBS. For 2023, it is on March 12 at 6 p.m. eastern time.
The women’s selection show takes place following the men’s at 8 p.m. eastern time. ESPN airs the women’s basketball selection show.
2023 Rounds of March Madness and Tournament Schedule
The tournament starts with the First Four games. These take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 14-15. The First and Second rounds take place at the end of the week from Thursday to Sunday. The selection show for the men’s tournament is on Sunday, March 12 at 6 p.m. eastern time on CBS.
For the 2023 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, the schedule is as follows:
First Four Games: March 14-15
First-Second Round: March 16-19
Sweet 16 and Elite 8: March 23-26
Final Four: April 1
National Championship: April 3
2022 NCAA Basketball Tournament Recap
The 2022 NCAA Tournament saw nine teams selected from the Big Ten. The Big East, Big 12, and SEC each had six men’s teams make the NCAA bracket. The ACC had five teams make the 2022 March Madness Tournament.
The selection committee seeded the teams from 1 to 68 with Gonzaga being the top overall seed in the tournament. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was the 68th overall seed in the tournament. In the NCAA March Madness Tournament bracket, teams are seed numbers 1 to 16 to create the matchups.
Saint Peter’s shocked the world by being the first number 15 seed to reach the Elite 8. They defeated number 2 seed Kentucky in the first round on their way to history. The Kansas Jayhawks ended up defeating North Carolina in the National Championship.
College basketball fans saw a Final Four that consisted of number 1 seed Kansas beating number 2 seed Villanova. On the other side, Number 8 seed North Carolina beat number 2 seed Duke in a battle of bitter rivals.
Most Teams from One Conference in One Tournament
The conference with the most teams participating in one tournament is the Big East. Back in 2011, the Big East had 11 teams make the tournament. It was the first March Madness tournament to have a conference send double-digit teams to the tournament. It remains the most teams from the same conference to ever make the tournament in one year.
A conference has sent nine teams to the tournament a total of five teams. The ACC did it in 2017 and 2018. The Big East did it in 2012 while the Big Ten accomplished the feat in 2021 and 2022.
How Many Teams are in March Madness FAQs
The Men’s NCAA Tournament begins on March 14, 2023. It starts with the First Four games that kick off the field of 68 teams fighting to win it all. The First Round begins on Thursday, March 16.
The 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four is in Houston, Texas. The games will be played at NRG Stadium as four teams compete with two advancing for a chance at a championship.
The Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament has 68 teams. It expanded the field to 68 teams back in 2011. The women’s tournament expanded to 68 teams in 2022.
The 2023 NCAA Tournament bracket will be revealed on Sunday, March 12, 2023. The selection committee will announce the teams in the tournament competing for the NCAA National Championship.