March Madness 2022 Breakdown

Samantha Elkins, News Editor

People often wait in anticipation for the wonderful month of March. It marks the commencement of spring, National Pancake Day, St. Patrick’s Day and the infamous Ides of March. For many basketball fans, though, March is special for one reason: March Madness. 

68 teams, seven rounds and single elimination games define March Madness. 32 teams receive an automatic spot in March Madness through auto-bids based on their regular season’s conferences. The remaining 32 teams receive their seed and brackets from the selection committee. This takes place on Mar. 13, popularly known as Selection Sunday. ESPN plans on airing mens’ selections at 6:00 p.m. and womens’ selections at 8:00 p.m.

Before this bracket-style tournament commences, four of those teams are eliminated in the opening round, also known as the First Four. The remaining 64 teams are further divided into four regions, each consisting of 16 teams. The teams are ranked 1-16, determining their team’s seed. The superior teams are rewarded, as they play from top to bottom. For example, seed one plays seed 16, seed two plays seed 15, etc. 

While fans can watch these high-stakes games on their television or via the official NCAA app, fans can also complete the Bracket Challenge Game. This official NCAA game opens after Selection Sunday and fans try to predict the outcomes of each game. While no one has successfully predicted a full bracket, fans love keeping track of their predictions throughout the tournament. 

For those watching the games at home, below are the definitions of some commonly used March Madness terminology to help viewers better understand the game. 

  • “The Bubble” refers to a team that is on the verge of making the top 68, but it could go either way. 
  • “Sweet 16” refers to the third round of the tournament where 16 teams remain.
  • “The Elite Eight” refers to the fourth round of the tournament when eight teams remain.
  • “The Final Four” refers to the fifth round of the tournament when four teams remain.

Basketball fans wait in anticipation for Selection Sunday to see the final list of teams competing in this year’s competition. Prepare your popcorn and brackets, as this year’s March Madness will be one for the books.