March Madness - The NCAA Tournament Explained

What Is March Madness?

March Madness is another name for the NCAA Tournament, the season-ending event that crowns a championship in college basketball. The tournament consists of 68 teams, in a single-elimination format where only one team emerges unscathed with the national championship in the end. This event is widely considered to be one of the best sporting events in the United States and one of the best ways to crown a champion in any sport.

This tournament is known for both the bracket and bracket busters. Everyone from hardcore sports fans to people who’ve got no interest in basketball makes their NCAA picks by filling out a bracket each year. Those picks are often taken down a peg by lower-seeded teams that pull off improbable upsets in the early stages of the tournament, which have provided many of the lasting images of this tournament’s history.

Where Did The Term “March Madness” Come From?

The term March Madness originated in the world of high school basketball before it was ever used to refer to the NCAA Tournament. In the 1930s, the term was used to refer to the Illinois High School Association’s state basketball tournament, with the popularity of the term making its way to the collegiate ranks in the 1980s.

Brent Musburger is credited with the first use of the phrase for the college basketball tournament, where it’s stuck ever since.

When Is 2022 March Madness?

The 2022 March Madness tournament is set to begin on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, with the First Four games from Dayton, Ohio. In the First Four, the bottom four 16-seeds and the last four at-large teams to get into the tournament play for the right to compete in the round of 64. Those games take place on March 15 and 16, 2022.

As far as the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament are concerned, those are set to take place from March 17 to 20. After that point, the field will be whittled down to 16, with the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds taking place from March 24 to 27. The Final Four will take place on April 2, 2022, while the national championship game will be contested on April 4, 2022, from the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.

Which Are The Best Sportsbook For NCAA March Madness Betting?

When it comes to the best sportsbooks for betting on NCAA March Madness, the answer largely depends on your individual preferences. Some bettors may care about different components to a sportsbook more than others, such as the available bonuses, the betting odds up for grabs, or the presence of special features like odds boosts. It’s up to you to decide which features you care the most about and to find which sportsbooks best fit those criteria.

With that said, there are some sportsbooks that stand out above the rest. FanDuel Sportsbook is a great example of this, as they tend to be aggressive with their new player promotions during major events like March Madness. They also aren’t afraid to post their betting odds for upcoming games before many of their competitors, which means you can get wagers in early to get the best possible prices.

BetMGM is also a quality March Madness betting option, as it tends to have some of the best futures odds on the market. They also regularly award customers perks like risk-free bets, odds boosts, and parlay boosts that sweeten the deal of betting on March Madness at their sportsbook. With the margins being so tight in many tournament games, those added values can make a big difference.

What Is Selection Sunday And When Is It?

Selection Sunday is the day every college basketball team hopes to hear their name called. This is the day where the March Madness bracket is revealed, and the 68 teams that’re a part of the tournament are notified as to which teams they’re slated to play in the tournament. Teams are also informed as to which seeds they occupy in the bracket, which can impact the matchups they’ll face during the entire event.

On Selection Sunday, teams not only learn what their first-round matchup is going to be, but they also learn what the rest of their tournament matchups could look like. This is one of the most fun days of the tournament, even more so than many of the game days, as fans can project the matchups that could happen over the course of the tournament. In fact, the only people who don’t enjoy Selection Sunday are the bubble teams that aren’t selected for the tournament.

What Is The NCAA Bracket?

The NCAA Tournament bracket is the road map each team has to follow in order to win the tournament and cut down the nets at the end. The bracket is broken up into four regions: the East, West, South, and Midwest. In each of those regions, teams are seeded from one to 16, with the highest seeds facing the lowest seeds in the first round.

Unlike with many postseason formats in other sports and leagues, the bracket isn’t reseeded as the tournament moves along. That means teams know exactly which teams they could play in the next round of the tournament at all times, and it allows fans to predict the matchups of the entire tournament ahead of time, which makes tournament bracket contests so popular during March Madness.

How Are The Teams Selected?

The participants in the NCAA Tournament are chosen in one of two ways each year. One set of teams are admitted into the tournament by simply winning their conference tournaments, as every conference tournament winner is granted entry into the field of 68.

The rest of the entrants into the tournament are admitted via at-large bids, which are given to the teams who didn’t win conference tournaments but are deemed to be the best teams not to have won their conference

March Madness Selection Committee

How are those at-large teams selected, you ask? That’s the job of the NCAA March Madness selection committee. The selection committee is made up of a group of individuals who’ve spent time around the game, such as former coaches, athletic directors, and administrators. Their job is to look at the qualifications of every team that didn’t win a conference tournament and to decide which teams are deserving of at-large bids.

The job of the selection committee is also to decide where each team is seeded in the bracket as well. Seeding can determine how successful a team is in the tournament, as seeding determines what the matchups are for each squad. As a result, the selection committee is very important to the overall flow of the NCAA Tournament.

Which NCAA Teams Will Participate In March Madness 2022?

In all, 68 teams will participate in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Around half of those teams will have qualified automatically by virtue of winning their respective conference tournaments, while the rest are at-large teams chosen by the selection committee. These teams range from well-known programs like Gonzaga and Duke to obscure small conference champions like Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Cal State Fullerton.

For a full list of the teams that’ve made it to the 2022 NCAA Tournament, you can consult the complete tournament bracket. The bracket not only includes all of the teams that qualified for March Madness, but it also includes their seeding and a potential path to the national championship.

What Are Seeds In The NCAA Basketball Tournament?

In each of the four regions of the NCAA Tournament, there are 16 teams that make up the round of 64 across the entire bracket. Each region has its 16 teams seeded from one to 16, with one seeds being deemed the best in their region and 16 seeds being deemed the worst in their region. The highest-seeded teams are matched with the lowest-seeded teams, with one seeds playing 16 seeds, two seeds playing 15 seeds, and so on.

Seeding in each region is done by the tournament selection committee, and seeding can greatly impact a team’s chances of winning a championship. Nearly two-thirds of the all-time tournament titles have gone to one-seeds, while no team seeded ninth or worse has ever won the tournament. As a result, it’s vital to make a good impression on the selection committee for the duration of the season.

How To Watch March Madness?

To watch March Madness, there are a number of options to choose from. You can watch on traditional cable or satellite television through CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV. There’s also the option to watch the tournament via the March Madness Live app that airs all of the games on mobile devices.

Sportsbooks That Will Live-Stream March Madness Games

As legal sportsbooks become more common throughout the United States, live streaming of sporting events at those sportsbooks has also become more commonplace. While college basketball has yet to be added to the list of sporting events available for live streaming at most sportsbooks, there’s the potential for it to be added in the future.

Conclusion

March Madness is one of the most beloved sporting events on the planet, as the upsets and intensity are hard to match in most competitions. With the rise of legal sports betting to go with the tournament, this year’s March Madness could be one of the most exciting in the history of the event.

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Tyler has a true passion for sports, DFS & sports betting in particular. Combine his love for sports with his journalistic background and you have a great guy to cover the latest industry news. He also enjoys disc golf, fishing, and traveling in his free time.

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