How many teams are in March Madness? How are teams selected?
March Madness is upon us, and teams have already been chosen to play in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Here’s the selection process they went through.
Selection Sunday is over and the stage is now set for the teams that will participate in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 68 teams from colleges all over the country will be joining the fun in March Madness. Here's the full list of those who made the cut.
These college athletes will strut their stuff and show off their skills, not only to gain glory for their schools but also to give a preview of their potential as professional players.
Two ways to qualify for March Madness
There are two ways for a team to be included in the tournament. First, the 32 Division I conferences can enter automatically by winning the postseason conference tournament.
They don’t need to have an immaculate regular season record- they just need to come out as the champion. These 32 winners are referred to as automatic qualifiers.
The other way by which a squad can join the competition is by getting awarded an invitation by the selection committee at an at-large bid.
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The NCAA selection committee
The basketball selection committee is composed of twelve members who are athletic directors and conference commissioners. The group assembles on Selection Sunday to decide which 36 teams are worthy of being asked to fill in the remaining slots of the tournament.
One way the committee avoids potential conflicts of interest when choosing the teams is by requiring members to step out of the room when the body is discussing the qualifications of his or her school.
There is no pre-determined formula in deciding whether a team deserves an invitation. The selection committee takes into account various statistics in calculating whether a team will be granted an at-large berth, including its record, ranking, and strength of schedule.
After the list of 68 teams is completed, the selection committee ranks them from one to 68, then puts them in one of four regions. These factors play a part in figuring out the teams' first-round matchups and their eventual route to the championship.