March Madness 2024 is right around the corner and the tournament is starting to shape up. Conference tournaments are in full swing to determine the automatic qualifiers. The conference tournament losers of the college basketball world will have to sweat out the NCAA Tournament committee's decisions on which at-large teams will join the tournament winners.

How many teams qualify for the NCAA tournament? How many at-large teams make it? When does the tournament bracket come out?

How many teams participate in Women’s March Madness?

68 teams will participate in the 2024 Women’s March Madness tournament. 60 qualify for the automatic spots in the tournament, and eight others will qualify for the Women’s March Madness First Four.

The First Four are four play-in games to get into the tournament -- two matchups of 16 seeds, and two matchups of 11 seeds, The 16 seeds are conference tournament winners and the 11 seeds are at large bids.

The First Four games whittle the field down to 64 teams who compete in four separate regional tournaments of 16 teams.

How many teams participate in Men’s March Madness?

Similarly to the women’s tournament, 2024 Men’s March Madness will feature 68 total teams: 60 qualify automatically for the tournament, and eight others compete in the Men’s First Four games.

The Men’s First Four games are the first games of the March Madness 2024 -- they tip-off on Tuesday, March 19, at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

How are teams selected?

Teams are selected for March Madness by an NCAA Tournament Selection Committee (one for the men’s, one for the women’s). Each member of the selection committee serves five-year terms and represents a diverse swath of the given NCAA landscape.

Conference winners make the initial bracket alongside the top 36 best “at-large” teams remaining, which are ranked by the committee. Through a few rounds of voting and re-voting, the committee narrows down a large list of suggested teams into a field of 68.

The results of the committee emerge on Selection Sunday, which is Sunday, March 17, 2024. March Madness seeds are some of the most well-discussed subjects of conversation in sports, with fans often bickering about tournament snubs and teams seeded too low.

Read more about the minutiae of the process on the official NCAA site.

Men’s March Madness Schedule – Main Dates for NCAAB Tournament

Here is the Men’s March Madness 2024 schedule, including key dates and a round-by-round breakdown:

  • Selection Sunday: Sunday, March 17
  • Men’s First Four: Tuesday-Wednesday, March 19-20
  • Men’s First Round: Thursday-Friday, March 21-22
  • Men’s Second Round: Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24
  • Men’s Sweet 16: Thursday-Friday, March 28-29
  • Men’s Elite Eight Saturday-Sunday, March 30-31
  • Men’s Final Four: Saturday, April 6
  • Men’s NCAA Championship: Monday, April 8

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