It’s March and that means one thing: basketball! Find out when the March Madness tournament starts, who’s the favorite and all the important details.
March Madness for the men starts on March 13. It’s time to start counting down the days because March Madness is fast approaching. The colossal college basketball tournament starts on March 11, with Selection Sunday. That’s when the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee reveals which 68 teams have made the field. Then, the First Four – the first games between eight teams on the bubble, essentially – happen on March 13 and 14, as these teams play their way into the tournament.
From there, March Madness properly starts on March 15, with the first and second round games going until March 18, according to the NCAA’s official site. After that, teams will advance to the regional semifinals – the “Sweet Sixteen” – and then the regional finals – “the Elite Eight” – until the four regional champions are crowned. These “Final Four” teams will compete in the semifinals and the winners go on to the final on April 2. Yes, the men’s March Madness ends in April.
The women’s NCAA tournament starts on March 16. The women’s NCAA tournament will hold its selection show on Monday, March 12, one day after Selection Sunday. After announcing its bracket, the first round begins on March 16. The women’s national championship will take place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on April 1.
Are there any favorites? With a lot of basketball left to play before the end of the season, it’s really hard to predict which teams will get in and who will get seeded No. 1. Right now, one of the sure bets is that the Virginia Cavaliers will be a No. 1 seed. The Xavier Musketeers, Kansas Jayhawks, and Villanova Wildcats would be the other No. 1 teams if the season ended on Feb. 27, according to Bleacher Report, but that could change in a blink of an eye. Last year’s champions, the North Carolina Tar Heels, are currently third in the Atlantic Coast Conference, behind Duke and Virginia.
As for the women – surprise! The University of Connecticut Huskies are the favorites, but they’ll face a huge challenge from the Mississippi State Bulldogs, the team that eliminated them in the semifinals. Both teams are undefeated, and UConn is looking to avenge the shocking loss. Mississippi is also out for revenge. After ending UConn’s 111-game willing streak, they fell to the South Carolina Gamecocks in last year’s finals.
While there will be some interesting additions to this year’s tournament, so far, the usual regulars will make an appearance. Gonzaga, Purdue, Ohio State, Kentucky are currently in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Michigan State Spartans are on a 12-game win streak, so keep an eye on this Big 10 team, especially when filling out a bracket. Will this be the Spartans’ year? Or will the Cavaliers claim the NCAA title?
HollywoodLifers, are you excited for March Madness?