NCAA Tournament 2021: What you need to know about March Madness

NCAA Tournament 2021: What you need to know about March Madness

March Madness is one of the most anticipated and exciting events on the sporting calendar, where 68 Division 1 college basketball teams battle it out in a single-elimination tournament. From the second week of March to the first week of April, the whole nation is gripped with raving buzzer-beaters, overtimes, and unlikely Cinderella stories.

When does it Officially Start?

March Madness officially starts on Selection Sunday (March 14), where teams are allotted sees based on their ranking position during the regular season.  In addition, each conference inner is given an automatic entry to the tournament.  The top four teams will be awarded No.1 seed, the next four No.2 seeds, up to 16.

How are teams selected?

The 32 Division 1 conference teams receive an automatic bid, which they each award to the team that wins the postseason conference tournament.  This means that regardless of how a team performed in the regular season, if they are eligible for postseason play and win their conference tournament, they automatically receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  Teams who receive these bids are known as automatic qualifiers.

The second route for an invitation is termed ‘at-large bid’.  The selection committee summons on Selection Sunday after all regular season and conference tournament games are played out.  The committee then decides which 36 teams have the quality to make the tournament.  This year there are 37 teams in this position.

What are seeds?

On Selection Sunday, the selection committee rank all 68 teams based on regular season and conference tournament performance sitting at No. 1.  Four of those teams are eliminated in the opening round known as the First Four, which then leaves a field of 64 teams. The 64 teams are split into regions of 16 teams each, with each team being ranked 1 through 16.  The ranking determines the team’s seeding.

Who has won the most NCAA Titles?

Since the creation of the Tournament in 1939 which was won by the Oregon Ducks, 36 different teams have secured a championship title to their name.  No team however has won more than UCLA, which has 11 titles, 10 of which came a span of 12 years between 1964 and 1975.

March Madness 2021 Schedule

This year’s NCAA Tournament’s edition begins March 18 with the First Four play-in games.  The first and second rounds will be held from March 19-22 followed by the Sweet 16 (March 27-28) and Elite Eight (March 29-30) a week later.

This year’s Final Four will take place April 3-5 from Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium with the winners advancing to the National Championship game on April 5.  This will be the eight-time Indianapolis will be the main site of the Final Four.

First FourMarch 18
Round 1March 19-20
Round 2March 21-22
Sweet 16March 27-28
Elite EightMarch 29-30
Final FourApril 3
National ChampionshipApril 5

March Madness 2021 – Will we see a normal spectacle with Live Fans?

The good news is that fans will be allowed back to watch March Madness following the cancellation of last year’s event.  The tournament will allow a limited number of fans for both men’s and women’s tournaments.

It was decided that fans will be present for every round of the men’s tournament with the arenas only operating at 25 percent capacity for the men’s games and 17 percent for the women’s event.