College Basketball Overview
The NCAA Basketball Tournament is a yearly-held basketball competition among select Division I collegiate teams to decide the national champions. Popularly known as “March Madness” or “The Big Dance”, the tournament started in 1939 featuring eight (8) teams divided in two regional brackets. Oregon was the inaugural champion after defeating Villanova in the NCAA national finals game, 53-36. Today, the NCAA basketball tournament begins with 68 teams. Of the 68, 31 are conference champions from the NCAA’s 31 conferences. These conference winners are granted automatic bids into the tournament. The other 37 teams are invited through at-large bids granted by the NCAA. Once the selection process is done, the tournament is divided into four regions. Each region is made-up of at least 16 teams. The top four-seeded teams are distributed, one to each region and become that region’s number one ranked team. Playing by a single-elimination format, the chances of lower-seeded teams advancing in the tournament is higher thus, upsets have been a normal fixture in the NCAA basketball tournament. The competition begins in the First Four round which includes the first four games played in the tournament. It is then followed by the Round of 64 and then the Round of 32. After which, the 16 remaining teams play in regional semifinals or the Sweet Sixteen before being followed by the regional finals or the Elite Eight. The winners of each regional finals then meet in the Final Four. The two teams that win the Final Four games then play in NCAA Basketball Tournament national finals game.