What is Selection Sunday for NCAA March Madness?
It’s that time of year. The nation is about to go crazy for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It’s March Madness and you are hoping your team either wins the conference tournament or receives an at-large bid. A field of 68 teams will compete for a college basketball national championship. How are the teams picked? Here’s a breakdown of what Selection Sunday is and more.
A Breakdown of Selection Sunday 2023
Selection Sunday is the process of selecting what teams will compete in the NCAA basketball tournament. College basketball fans watch a selection show picking the top teams in the country to represent their conferences in the Division I Tournament.
Both the men’s and women’s March Madness brackets are announced on Selection Sunday. The NCAA Basketball Tournament Selection Committee unveils the men’s bracket first at 6 p.m. on CBS. You can watch the women’s selection show airing on ESPN at 8 p.m.
There are 68 teams in the tournament for both the men’s and women’s March Madness brackets. The full reveal is on 2023 Selection Sunday.
The Selection Committee
The men’s basketball selection committee has 12 members. They are representatives from schools and conferences across the country. Commissioners and athletic directors are on the committee. Chris Reynolds is the current chairman of the NCAA Men’s Selection Committee.
The women’s committee has 11 members. They select the 68-team field for the NCAA Division I Tournament. Like the men’s committee, it consists of athletic directors and conference commissioners from across the NCAA.
Qualifications to Make the NCAA Tournament
Two groups of teams make up the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments. The first group is automatic bids which go to teams that won their conference tournaments. They make the tournament regardless of their record and receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for winning the conference.
The second group is at-large bids. Each committee judges these teams based on performance and resume from the season. It’s common to see major conferences such as the Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, Big East, and SEC receive multiple at-large bids. Strength of schedule, win totals, and more are important factors in teams making the tournament.
There are 32 automatic bids to the men’s and women’s tournaments and 38 at-large bids. The NCAA selection committee places the teams in regions. Usually, the top seeds are playing in venues closer to home for the first and second rounds.
Brackets and Seeding for March Madness
The bracket has four regions. Each region has 16 teams. Seeding is from 1 to 16. The number 1 seed plays number 16, the number 2 plays 15, and so on. Teams that win their respective conference tournaments receive an automatic bid to the tournament.
The selection committee has a long list of teams that are at-large locks and on the bubble. Teams on the bubble have to leave their fate in the hands of the committee and it’s not a guarantee they are in.
The committee also will try to place the highest-ranked teams in regions near their university. This helps fans be able to travel to see the first and second rounds. Also, the committee takes into consideration teams who have already played each other so we get matchups we won’t usually see.
The bracket shows a slash for teams for the First Four games. For example, if Miami and Vermont are in a play-in game, it would show as Miami/Vermont on the bracket.
When is the Selection Show in 2023?
The Selection Show reveals the men’s and women’s basketball brackets on Sunday, March 12. The committee announces the Division I men’s tournament first. The show starts at 6 p.m. eastern time.
Selection Sunday FAQs
It takes place on Sunday, March 12, 2023. The men’s selection show airs on CBS at 6 p.m. eastern. The women’s selection and seeding will be broadcast on ESPN at 8 p.m. eastern.
The committee unveils its Selection Sunday bracket region by region. The top basketball teams are seeded from 1 to 16 in each quadrant of the bracket.
There are 12 members for the men’s committee and 11 for the women’s. The committee is made up of athletic directors and commissioners from conferences across the country.
There are 68 teams in both the men’s and women’s tournaments. The women’s tournament expanded from 64 teams to 68 in 2022. Both tournaments include First Four play-in games to start the postseason.
After the tournament field is set, March Madness brackets are available with the matchups. The games are played starting with the First Four on Tuesday, March 14 before the first round starts on March 16 and March 17.