NCAA Bracket Explained
By Rachel Jones - July 2, 2023

Do you enjoy sports? There are numerous opportunities each week to relax and watch a game or two on television, regardless of whether you prefer football, baseball, soccer, or one of the numerous other sports played worldwide. A new season of the year is exhilarating if you are a basketball enthusiast. It’s that time when sports fans discuss bubble teams, brackets, and buzzer beaters. The men’s and women’s collegiate basketball tournaments of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are held during the period known as March Madness, which is typically from the middle of March through the beginning of April.

The phrase “march madness” captures the excitement permeating the sports world as tournament time draws near. Numerous college basketball teams from across the United States compete in the weeks before the “Big Dance” for a chance to compete in the tournament. Due to winning their conference championships, 32 teams receive automatic entry into the tournament each year on Selection Sunday. A committee of judges must decide which of the remaining teams will be admitted to the competition. Selection Sunday, the day before the March Madness Tournament starts, is when this procedure takes place. Additionally, it is the day the public receives access to the brackets and seeds.

Getty Images/ Boston Globe/ David L. Ryan

The competition is played in brackets. Four brackets and eight teams will compete on the day of the First Four games; the four losing teams will be eliminated from the competition, while the four victorious teams will progress to their new brackets and get ready for the next round of games. The victorious teams that competed in the First Four are included in the 64 brackets that make up the regular tournament after the First Four. Once all teams have been “weeded out,” just two will compete in the championship game. The winner from each bracket advances to the subsequent bracket.