Among the 68 teams released and seeded on Sunday are Duke University, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, and Gonzaga University, all in at No. 1

By Lindsay Kimble
March 20, 2019 02:15 PM
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With Selection Sunday in the rearview mirror, March Madness is officially underway.

Want to cheer on your alma mater or best your coworkers with a perfect bracket? Here’s everything to know about the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament this year.

What is March Madness?

New to the annual spring tournament? March Madness is the championship tournament for the NCAA’s Division I men’s basketball, and features teams from colleges and universities across the country. A total of 68 teams will compete in the national championship, which consists of seven rounds.

Teams are assigned a seed ahead of the tournament and then allotted to one of four regions through the Elite 8.

When does it start?

Selection Sunday kicked off the tournament over the weekend, with the first round officially starting on Tuesday, March 19. After the First Four games, the initial round and second round continue from March 21 to 24. The regional semifinals and finals are from March 28 to 31. The Final Four has the last four teams standing competing on April 6, followed two days later by the championship game on April 8.

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Who is playing?

Among the 68 teams released and seeded on Sunday are Duke University, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, and Gonzaga University, all in at No. 1.

The 32 Division I conference tournament championship winners earn an automatic bid to the tournament, according to Sports Illustrated. The automatic bids don’t take into account regular season performance, only tournament wins.

The other 36 teams are chosen by a selection committee to receive at-large bids.

How can I fill out a bracket?

Want to get in on the fun from home? It’s easy to fill out a March Madness bracket. You can print out a bracket right from the NCAA’s website or join one of many bracket challenges online by yourself or with a group.

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Zion Williamson of Duke University
| Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty

How can I watch?

Have cable? It’s easy to tune in as follows:

  • Selection Sunday: Will air on CBS on March 17
  • First Four: Will air on truTV on March 19
  • First and Second Rounds: Will air on CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV from March 21–24
  • Regional Semifinals and Finals: Will air on CBS and TBS from March 28–31
  • Final Four: Will air on CBS on April 6
  • Championship: Will air on CBS on April 8

If you’ve canceled your cable subscription, never fear, there are also many ways to stream the tournament — from Hulu to CBS All Access to SlingTV.

When is the championship?

The last two teams will face off next month in the national championship on April 8.