March Madness is right around the corner and it begins the same way every year when the field of 68 teams vying for the title of the Div. I National Champions is revealed.
Selection Sunday 2020 will take place on March 15 at 5 p.m. on CBS19.
The NCAA compiled a list of FAQs to get you ready to be champion of your office or friend group's bracket challenge.
HOW ARE THE TEAMS SELECTED?
There are two ways a team can earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.
The 32 Division I conferences all receive an automatic bid, which they each award to the team that wins the postseason conference tournament. Regardless of how a team performed during the regular season, if they are eligible for postseason play and win their conference tournament, they receive a bid to the NCAA tournament. These teams are known as automatic qualifiers.
The second avenue for an invitation is an at-large bid. The selection committee (more on them in a second) convenes on Selection Sunday, after all regular season and conference tournament games are played, and decides which 36 teams that are not automatic qualifiers have the pedigree to earn an invitation to the tournament.
Here is the NCAA's comprehensive guide to how teams are selected for the tournament.
WHAT IS THE MARCH MADNESS SELECTION COMMITTEE?
The 10-member NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Committee is responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the field for the NCAA Tournament. School and conference administrators are nominated by their conference, serve five-year terms and represent a cross-section of the Division I membership.
HOW DO THEY DECIDE WHICH TEAMS GET AN AT-LARGE BID?
There are a multitude of stats and rankings that the Selection Committee takes into account, but there is no set formula that determines whether a team receives an at-large bid or not.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE TEAMS ARE SELECTED?
Once the field of 68 is finalized, each team is assigned a seed and placed in one of four regions, which determines their first round matchups and their path to the championship.
WHAT ARE SEEDS?
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is made up of 68 teams. On Selection Sunday, before any tournament game is played, those teams are ranked 1 through 68 by the Selection Committee, with the best team in college basketball — based on regular season and conference tournament performance — sitting at No. 1. Four of those teams are eliminated in the opening round of the tournament (known as the First Four), leaving us with a field of 64 for the first round.
Those 64 teams are split into four regions of 16 teams each, with each team being ranked 1 through 16. That ranking is the team’s seed.
In order to reward better teams, first-round matchups are determined by pitting the top team in the region against the bottom team (No. 1 vs. No. 16). Then the next highest vs. the next lowest (No. 2 vs. No. 15), and so on. In theory, this means that the 1 seeds have the easiest opening matchup in the bracket.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE FOR THE 2020 NCAA TOURNAMENT?
HISTORY OF THE TOURNAMENT
The University of Oregon, known as the "Tall Firs" for their height advantage, was crowned the first NCAA Champions in 1939, defeating Ohio State 46-33.
The most recent NCAA Champions (2019) was awarded to the University of Virginia, who defeated the Texas Tech 85-77.
The team with the most NCAA MBB Championships is UCLA (11), followed by the University of Kentucky (8), the University of North Carolina (6), Duke University (5) and Indiana University Bloomington (5).
The University of Texas at El Paso is the only Texas college to ever win the NCAA Tournament (1966). They were then known as Texas Western and defeated Kentucky 72-65 in College Park, Maryland. It holds special significance because it was the first time a team with five African-American starters won a national title game. The team was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
HOW TO WATCH MARCH MADNESS
Every single March Madness game will be broadcast on either CBS19, TBS, TNT or TruTV. You can also stream every game on March Madness Live.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The NCAA contributed to this article.