|When is NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?|
|What is NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament?|
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, comoonly referred to as simply the NCAA Tournament, is a single-loss elimination tourney that features 68 Division I college men's teams competing for the national championship. 32 of the 68 teams automatically qualify for the tournament by winning their conference of league title. The remaining 36 spots will be filled by teams who earn "at large" bids, meaning they are chosen by the NCAA Selction Committee to compete in the NCAA Tourney.
Before the actual basketball tourney kicks off, the four lowest ranked automatic qualifiers and the four lowest ranked at large teams compete in the "First Four" in which the winners of the four games earn a spot in the tournament, which reduces the number of teams competing from 68 down to 64. With each round, half the teams are eliminated once they lose. The number of teams in each round goes from 64 to 32 to 16 to 8 to 4 before the final two remaining teams play for the NCAA Tournament title.
The Final Four, which refers to the winner's of each region as part of the tournament and the last four teams in the tourney, compete in two games played on the final Saturday of the tournament with the winners competing in the championship game played that following Monday.
The NCAA tourney is commonly referred to as March Madness, since most of the tournament occurs in March, or the Big Dance. Since first being played in 1939, it has become one of the most popular sporting events in the USA. And even though it is younger than the NIT Tournament, it is much more popular and prominent.