When Does March Madness Start? Brackets, Predictions, History

March is here again and that means it is time for one of the most popular sporting events of the year. For fans of sports and sports betting, March Madness is one of the most exciting times of the year. The 2020 edition is set to begin on with the First Four games on March 17-18. For those who aren’t exactly the biggest sports fans, you may not even know what exactly March Madness is and what it means. 

 What is March Madness

March Madness refers to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, which takes place throughout most of the month of March (and into early April). This is a single-elimination tournament that is played each year to determine the college basketball national championship. Starting back in 1939, March Madness has evolved into one of the biggest sports events of the year.

 The tournament currently consists of 68 teams from all over the country. When the tournament was first started, just eight teams qualified for the tournament. The 68 teams are determined by the winners of the 32 different Division I conferences, known as “automatic bids”.

The remaining 36 teams are selected by the NCAA selection committee which are known as “at-large bids”. The 32 conference tournaments are played for two weeks leading up to the beginning of March Madness while the remaining 36 teams are announced by the selection committee on “Selection Sunday”.

 Selection Sunday is an event on the Sunday before the start of the March Madness tournament. All 68 teams are selected and seeded from #1 to #16 while also being informed of where they will be playing and in what region.

The tournament is broken down into four regions (East, West, South and Midwest) each with 17 teams. Each region consists of teams ranked #1 to #16 with one “play-in” game for each region. These play-in games are what expanded the tournament from 64 teams to 68 in 2011.

 March Madness Brackets and Format

The “First Four” is the term used for the four play-in games that were a result of the expansion to 68 teams. From the start of the First Four games to the national championship game, a total of about three weeks will pass. After the First Four, the tournament is down 64 total teams. The way the bracket for these 64 teams is set, teams will know which one of two opponents they will play next.

There is no re-seeding between rounds in the tournament. During the Round of 64, the #1 seed plays the #16 seed in all regions; the #2 seed plays the #15, and so on. The effect of this seeding structure ensures that the better a team is ranked, the worse-ranked their opponents will be.

Each round of the tournament is played over the course of two days. The round of 64 is one of the most exciting aspects of the tournament to a lot of people. It gives people a chance to see teams they may not normally see play during the regular season and this round usually features a number of upsets and buzzer-beating victories. Each game of the March Madness tournament is nationally televised.

 The next round, the round of 32 will take place the two immediate days following the round of 64, giving each winning team just one day of rest and preparation for their next opponent. The next round is known as the “Sweet 16” which will take place after a few days off for all teams. After two days of Sweet 16 play, the tournament now reaches what is known as the “Elite Eight”.

 The Elite Eight is the regional championship game of the four different regions of the tournament. With two of the four games played on a Saturday and the other two played the next day on Sunday, the winners of each game are headed to what is known as the “Final Four”.

The Final Four sends the winners of the four regions to one city (determined years in advance) to play for the national championship. The two Final Four games aren’t played until the following Saturday with the winner of each game going to the national championship, which is held that Monday.

 Impact on Sports Betting

 In the United States, the Super Bowl is the biggest single sports betting event in the country. However, March Madness isn’t far behind and the three-week long event attracts all kinds of sports and sports betting fans.

 Not only do people love to bet on the 67 different games of the tournament, it is also a very popular thing to fill out a tournament bracket. People fill out an entire bracket (usually starting after the First Four play-in games) and try to predict the winner of each game. If it sounds easy, it is not.

The odds of filling out a perfectly correct bracket is one in 9.2 quintillion (2^63) or 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. For comparison, the odds of winning the PowerBall Jackpot is one in 292,201,338.

The odds of filling out a perfectly correct bracket is one in 9.2 quintillion (2^63) or 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. For comparison, the odds of winning the PowerBall Jackpot is one in 292,201,338.

 Numerous websites hold contests for players to fill out these brackets with a point system being established that usually grants more points for a correct answer in each subsequent round. Some of these sites even give players a chance to win real money. Some sites offer up to $1 million for anyone who can fill out a perfect bracket.

 With the expansion of legal sports betting in the US, the 2020 March Madness will see more sports betting than it ever has. One of the reasons March Madness is such an exciting event are the “Cinderella” teams. Cinderella teams are non-powerhouse teams that earned their way into the tournament usually by winning their conference and earning an automatic bid.

These teams are from traditionally “weak” conferences are teams that little to nobody expect to win the tournament or even win a single game. While these teams can make for an exciting tournament when they take down a highly seeded team, they are the reason for most people having their bracket “busted”.

 March Madness is one of the most fun and exciting sports times of the year. Whether you are a serious fan or a casual fan, filling out one of these brackets and even betting on the games can be very fun.

During the early rounds of the tournament, you are treated to up to 32 games per day starting as early as noon eastern. So, join in the frenzy and use up those sick days at work and sit at home and watch some exciting action and see how well your bets or brackets make out!

Read More: https://legalbet.com/best-posts/march-madness-strategy-guide/

 NCAA March Madness Odds

Now that sports betting is legal, March Madness will look to solidify its position as America’s second biggest sports betting event of the year. The top sportsbooks in legal sports betting states will all feature odds on NCAA March Madness games. The odds for games will vary, as the level of competition will normally be decided by the stage of the tournament.

Every round will have major potential for upsets, meaning picking the right team can wield lucrative profits. It will not be uncommon for both teams in March Madness games to have odds reaching above +100. So be sure to study the games religiously in hopes of finding a Cinderella team or two to maximize your profits.