When Do March Madness Brackets Lock

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When do March Madness brackets lock.

When Do March Madness Brackets Lock


One of the best sporting events of the year is here. March Madness takes over the country as we watch the top college basketball teams compete for a national title. You will have your bracket, but when should you finish filling it out? Here’s a guide to when do March Madness brackets lock and what you need to know.

When Do I Need to Fill Out My Bracket

The 2023 NCAA Tournament bracket is made available at the conclusion of the selection show. When does the bracket lock? This will depend on the pool or bracket challenge that you have entered. Most contests will have rules that require you to have the bracket filled out before the first round begins on March 16, 2023.

The First Four games are on March 14 and 15, but those games are usually represented on the bracket with a slash. For example, if Saint Peter’s was playing Colgate in the First Four, it would say Saint Peter’s/Colgate in the First Round as an opponent for a team. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you select the winner of this game before it takes place.

NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenges

Check the rules of your bracket challenge or pool. Also, look at the bracket. If the play-in game teams are represented with a slash like an example we said above (Saint Peter’s/Colgate) then you will have until the First Round begins on Thursday to complete your bracket. Check the rules to be safe. Your contest might give a specific time in which it wants all of the brackets submitted.

Also, just a quick reminder. For some bracket challenges there might be a tiebreaker for the National Championship Game. Remember to enter in what you believe the final score will be.

Selection Sunday and the Tournament Bracket

Selection Sunday is on Sunday, March 12, 2023. The show is aired on CBS at 6 p.m. eastern time. It takes place immediately following the conclusion of the final conference tournament games that decide automatic bids to the tournament.

A selection committee reveals the bracket and basketball fans get to see the four regions of the tournament that are divided up into 16 teams each. The teams are seeded from 1 to 16. There are a total of 68 teams in the tournament. Eight teams compete in play-in games before the First Round begins.

There are 32 teams that receive automatic bids to the Men’s NCAA Tournament and 36 at-large bids. The men’s basketball committee uses factors such as record and strength of schedule when picking teams to receive at-large bids.

NCAA College Basketball Tournament Schedule

The tournament starts with the First Four games. These will be played 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

When Do March Madness Brackets Lock FAQs

When do brackets lock for March Madness?

For most contests, the bracket locks before the first game of the First Round on Thursday. Check with your contest, pool, or challenge to be sure.

Can I still fill out my bracket after the First Four games?

In most cases, yes. This is because the First Four games are represented on the bracket as both teams in the first round. For example, it would say Tennessee/Harvard in a matchup of the First Round. This means you can’t even pick the winner of the First Four. Check the official rules if you have questions.

When is the full bracket revealed?

The entire NCAA bracket is revealed on Selection Sunday which is March 12 at 6 p.m. eastern time on CBS. The Men’s College Basketball Tournament is a 68-team bracket. The women’s bracket is revealed on ESPN at 8 p.m. eastern time.

When does March Madness start?

The First Four games begin on March 14, 2023. After those are completed, the First Round of 2023 March Madness will begin on March 16.

Author: Sam Russell

Sam hails from Grandville, Michigan. He has a rich sports background, including playing baseball at Central Michigan before covering high school sports and working with the Orlando Magic. He earned his degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of the 2010 MAC Championship baseball team. Sam grew his knowledge of sports betting while working with Betsperts in various areas such as writing, social media, betting research, and business development. He's a big fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB, highly interested in data and statistics.