What Is March Madness?
March Madness is the unofficial name given to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The term March Madness actually comes from the state of Illinois, but it is now associated with one of the biggest and most popular sporting events of the year.
March Madness has expanded throughout the years, but it features the best college basketball teams competing for the right to win the National Championship. The “madness” comes from the unpredictable nature of the tournament and from the Cinderella stories that come from it.
When Does March Madness Start?
Selection Sunday is set for Sunday, March 14, 2021. The First Four games will take place on Thursday, March 18.
The rest of the dates follow as outlined below:
March Madness Dates
|Selection Sunday||March 14|
|First Four||March 18|
|First Round||March 19-20|
|Second Round||March 21-22|
|Sweet 16||March 27-28|
|Elite 8||March 29-30|
|Final Four||April 3|
|National Championship||April 5|
March Madness Odds (Vegas)
March Madness Brackets
The March Madness bracket is the same each year in terms of where teams are placed based on seeding. The first four games will determine the final teams that fill out the traditional 64 team bracket.
The 2021 March Madness Tournament will be the first time that the Selection Committee places teams on the bracket using an S-Curve. Normally teams are placed based on geographic location as the brackets are broken down into these four regions: East, Midwest, South, West.
First Four — Thursday, March 18
|(16) Texas Southern vs. (16) Mount St. Mary’s||5:10 p.m.||truTV||Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall|
|(11) Drake vs. (11) Wichita State||6:27 p.m.||TBS||Mackey Arena|
|(16) Appalachian State vs. (16) Norfolk State||8:40 p.m.||truTV||Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall|
|(11) UCLA vs. (11) Michigan State||9:57 p.m.||TBS||Mackey Arena|
First Round — Friday, March 19
|(7) Florida vs. (10) Virginia Tech||12:15 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(3) Arkansas vs. (14) Colgate||12:45 p.m.||truTV||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(1) Illinois vs. (16) Drexel||1:15 p.m.||TBS||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
|(6) Texas Tech vs. (11) Utah State||1:45 p.m.||TNT||Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall|
|(2) Ohio State vs. (15) Oral Roberts||3 p.m.||CBS||Mackey Arena|
|(1) Baylor vs. (16) Hartford||3:30 p.m.||truTV||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (South)|
|(8) Loyola Chicago vs. (9) Georgia Tech||4 p.m.||TBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(5) Tennessee vs. (12) Oregon State||4:30 p.m.||TNT||Bankers Life Fiieldhouse|
|(4) Oklahoma State vs. (13) Liberty||6:25 p.m.||TBS||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
|(8) North Carolina vs. (9) Wisconsin||7:10 p.m.||CBS||Mackey Arena|
|(2) Houston vs. (15) Cleveland State||7:15 p.m.||truTV||Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall|
|(4) Purdue vs. (13) North Texas||7:25 p.m.||TNT||Lucas Oil Stadium Equality (North)|
|(7) Clemson vs. (10) Rutgers||9:20 p.m.||TBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(6) San Diego State vs. (11) Syracuse||9:40 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(3) West Virginia vs. (14) Morehead State||9:50 p.m.||truTV||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (South)|
|(5) Villanova vs. (12) Winthrop||9:57 p.m.||TNT||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
First Round — Saturday, March 20
|(5) Colorado vs. (12) Georgetown||12:15 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(4) Florida State vs. (13) UNC Greensboro||12:45 p.m.||truTV||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(3) Kansas vs. (14) Eastern Washington||1:15 p.m.||TBS||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
|(8) LSU vs. (9) St. Bonaventure||1:45 p.m.||TNT||Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall|
|(1) Michigan vs. (16) Texas Southern||3 p.m.||CBS||Mackey Arena|
|(5) Creighton vs. (12) UC Santa Barbara||3:30 p.m.||truTV||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (South)|
|(2) Alabama vs. (15) Iona||4 p.m.||TBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(6) USC vs. (11) Drake||4:30 p.m.||TNT||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(2) Iowa vs. (15) Grand Canyon||6:25 p.m.||TBS||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
|(7) UConn vs. (10) Maryland||7:10 p.m.||CBS||Mackey Arena|
|(4) Virginia vs. (13) Ohio||7:15 p.m.||truTV||Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall|
|(8) Oklahoma vs. (9) Missouri||7:25 p.m.||TNT||Lucas Oil Stadium Equality (North)|
|(1) Gonzaga vs. (16) Norfolk State||9:20 p.m.||TBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(6) BYU vs. (11) UCLA||9:40 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(3) Texas vs. (14) Abilene Christian||9:50 p.m.||truTV||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (South)|
|(7) Oregon vs. (10) VCU||9:57 p.m.||TNT||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
Second Round — Sunday, March 21
|(1) Illinois vs. (8) Loyola Chicago||12:10 p.m.||CBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(1) Baylor vs. (9) Wisconsin||2:40 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(3) West Virginia vs. (11) Syracuse||5:15 p.m.||CBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(3) Arkansas vs. (6) Texas Tech||6:10 p.m.||TNT||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(2) Houston vs. (10) Rutgers||7:10 p.m.||TBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (South)|
|(7) Florida vs. (15) Oral Roberts||7:45 p.m.||truTV||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
|(5) Villanova vs. (13) North Texas||8:45 p.m.||TNT||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(4) Oklahoma State vs. (12) Oregon State||9:40 p.m.||TBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
Second Round — Monday, March 22
|(7) Oregon vs (2) Iowa||12:10 p.m.||CBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(8) Oklahoma vs (1) Gonzaga||2:40 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(14) Abilene Chr. vs (11) UCLA||5:15 p.m.||UCLA||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(13) Ohio vs (5) Creighton||6:10 p.m.||TNT||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(8) LSU vs (1) Michigan||7:10 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|(5) Colorado vs (4) Florida St.||7:45 p.m.||TBS||Indiana Farmers Coliseum|
|(10) Maryland vs (2) Alabama||8:45 p.m.||TNT||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(6) USC vs (3) Kansas||9:40 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
Sweet 16 — Saturday, March 27
|(8) Loyola Chicago vs. (12) Oregon State||2:40 p.m.||CBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(1) Baylor vs. (5) Villanova||5:15 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(3) Arkansas vs. (15) Oral Roberts||7:25 p.m.||TBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(2) Houston vs. (11) Syracuse||9:55 p.m.||TBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
Sweet 16 — Sunday, March 28
|(1) Gonzaga vs. (5) Creighton||2:10 p.m.||CBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(1) Michigan vs. (4) Florida State||5:00 p.m.||CBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|(2) Alabama vs. (11) UCLA||7:15 p.m.||TBS||Hinkle Fieldhouse|
|(6) USC vs. (7) Oregon||9:45 p.m.||TBS||Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
Elite 8 — Monday, March 29
|(2) Houston vs (12) Oregon State||7.15 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Equality (North)|
|(1) Baylor vs (3) Kansas||9:57 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Equality (South)|
Elite 8 — Tuesday, March 30
|(1) Gonzaga vs (6) USC||7:15 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Equality (North)|
|(1) Michigan vs (11) UCLA||9:57 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Equality (South)|
Final Four — Saturday, April 3
|(1) Baylor vs (2) Houston||5:14 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity|
|(1) Gonzaga vs (11) UCLA||8:34 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity|
National Championship — Monday, April 5
|(1) Gonzaga vs (1) Baylor||9:00 p.m.||CBS||Lucas Oil Stadium Unity|
How Does March Madness Work?
College basketball teams can qualify for the March Madness Tournament by earning the automatic qualifying bid that is given to each conference. The winner of the conference tournament earns a right to the NCAA Tournament.
After all of the automatic bids are handed out then a selection committee fills out the rest of the field with deserving teams. Teams are placed into four different regions, and the champion of each region advances to the Final Four.
All of the teams are seeded before the tournament begins and placed on a bracket. March Madness is played on a “win-or-go-home” format.
March Madness Betting
March Madness is the second most popular event to bet on in the United States, second to the Super Bowl. Sportsbooks feature many promotions and bonuses around the March Madness Tournament every year.
Some states prohibit betting on March Madness, especially for games featuring in-state teams. Betting on collegiate sporting events is one of the biggest debates in the US sports betting industry.
Every sports bettor will have their own betting strategy when betting on the NCAA Tournament, but making a futures bet is one of the most popular betting options. Sportsbooks offer future betting markets on the eventual NCAA Champion or on what teams will reach the Final Four.
Another March Madness betting strategy is to simply bet on every game across the tournament. With 67 different games being played over three weeks, there are plenty of opportunities to win some money on the NCAA Tournament.
March Madness Betting Odds
There are a number of different betting types available for March Madness, and the odds will work differently for each type of bet. These odds will be released as soon as the March Madness bracket is unveiled, and will change frequently.
Vegas Odds to Win March Madness
Since the March Madness tournament is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, prop betting is also extremely popular. There will be a number of prop betting options for each game of the tournament as well as for a whole event.
Prop bets are bets that are made on unique aspects of a game or sporting event and can add some fun and excitement to your betting experience.
- Will a Number 1 seed reach the Final Four?
- Will a double-digit seed reach the Final Four?
March Madness Predictions
The Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears look like the best early picks to win the NCAA Tournament. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this could shape up to be one of the most unpredictable tournaments in recent memory.
How Many Teams in March Madness Are There?
Each year, 68 teams are selected to play in the March Madness Tournament and then these teams are placed on the bracket. The field of 68 teams is made up of 32 automatic qualifiers and 36 at-large selections.
There is no requirement for how many teams can come from a certain conference.
The NCAA has not yet announced how many tickets will be available for the 2021 March Madness tournament or if fans will be allowed to attend. Typically, we’d see NCAA March Madness 2021 tickets are sold as a package for the entire weekend at each location.
Final Four tickets go on sale almost a year in advance as the upcoming Final Four locations have already been announced. Each team is allotted a certain number of tickets for each round, and students are given tickets to attend the Final Four.
March Madness Seeding – How Does It Work?
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee releases the seeds for the entire bracket on Selection Sunday. The top overall seed is revealed first, and they are set to matchup with the number 4 overall seed in the Final Four.
In 2021, the selection committee will be filling out the bracket using the “S-Curve” meaning that all teams will be seeded 1-68 and then placed on the appropriate line on the bracket. There are four regions with 16 teams and the winner of each region will advance to the Final Four.
The Lowest Seed to Win March Madness
In 1985 the Villanova Wildcats won the NCAA Tournament as the number 8 seed, the lowest to ever cut down the nets. In 2014, the Ucon Huskies were able to win the NCAA Tournament as a number 7 seed.
There have been four number 11 seeds that have reached the Final Four, but none have been able to win the final two games.
March Madness Seeds 2021
The Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Baylor Bears look like locks to earn a number 1 seed in 2021. The winner of the Big Ten Conference and the winner of the Big 12 Conference will likely earn the other two top seeds.
Previous March Madness Winners
The UCLA Bruins have won the most March Madness titles, and some of the other “blue-blood” programs are next on the list. The Power 5 Conferences traditionally dominate the NCAA Tournament, especially when it comes to eventual champions.
Who Won the Last 10 NCAA Basketball Championships?
|2020||No winner due to Covid|
2020 March Madness Winner
The 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore there was no champion. The field of 68 was not announced as the college basketball season was shut down as most leagues were completing their conference tournaments.
2019 March Madness Winner
The University of Virginia Cavaliers won the 2019 NCAA Championship by defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders by a score of 85-77. That game was played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2018 March Madness Winner
The Villanova Wildcats won the 2018 NCAA Tournament by defeating the Michigan Wolverines by a score of 79-65. This was the second March Madness championship for Villanova in three years.
Top 10 Schools With the Most Appearances in NCAA Tournaments
In light of historic fact, March Madness seems to belong to the top-seeded teams time and over again. So far, Kentucky is the true torch-bearers with 58 appearances with the first one dating back to 1942. As one of the oldest franchises, Kentucky has also proven to be one of the most talented winning eight titles so far.
Which Teams Hold the Most Titles?