The NCAA Tournament is called March Madness for a reason, but the process of selecting which teams will experience it is nothing short of science. On Sunday, college basketball fans will be able to see the results of that experiment for the first time in two years.
Selection Sunday is almost here, setting in stone, for the most part, which teams will participate in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. While there are some safe bets, other teams will need to rely on good results or even win their conference tournament to reach the final field.
The NCAA draft program will have a lot to break down – not just which teams they do it on, but also the seeding, which is itself a fascinating and occasionally controversial part of the process.
Sporting News has everything you need to know about Selection Sunday 2021 covered: date, time, TV channel, support screenings and more:
When is Selection Sunday 2021?
- Date: Sunday March 14
- Time: 6 pm ET
Selection Sunday 2021 will take place on Sunday March 14; The pool reveal is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET, but the full 68-team pool, which includes the top four teams, will not be released until the conclusion of the conference’s final tournament.
On which channel is the March Madness selection shown?
CBS will air the NCAA draft program, but it can also be broadcast via NCAA March Madness Live, Paramount + and fuboTV (offering a seven-day free trial). It will be the first time since 2019 that the selection show has been produced; The NCAA chose not to create a hiatus for the tournament in 2020 after its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2021 NCAA Tournament Selection Format
The 2021 NCAA Tournament of 68 teams will be comprised of 31 automatic qualifiers (teams that win their respective conference championships) and 37 overall offers. In a normal year, 32 automatic qualifiers and 36 general offers would make up the field; However, the Ivy League canceled its 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball seasons, giving the selection committee an additional general team to select from.
The committee does not have a formula for the seeded teams, but there will be a notable difference between the participants in parentheses this year than in previous seasons: the S-curve, a method of ranking each of the starting 68 teams in a pattern. meandering, it will be the only method of determining which teams are located in which region. Since the 2021 NCAA Tournament will be held entirely in Indiana, geography will not be a determining factor.
(This essentially ensures that the top seeds are rewarded sufficiently with lower ranked matchups as the tournament progresses – it’s the difference between the top seed overall facing the No. 8 team overall in the Elite Eight, as opposed to the No. 5 team overall).
Geography has previously guided the selection committee’s decisions on which teams were placed in which region, resulting in some teams getting unfair matchups later in the tournament. An example of this fallacy occurred in the 2019 tournament, when the state of Michigan, second-ranked 2 and team No. 6 overall, was placed in the East Region with first-ranked Duke overall.
The committee uses the NET ranking, established in 2018, as its main ranking tool for evaluating teams.
March Madness parenthesis predictions
There is a lot of certainty when it comes to which teams will participate in the 2021 NCAA Tournament; some, like Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan, are virtual locks like 1-seeds (barring crisis at the end of the season). Others, like traditional powerhouses Duke, North Carolina and Michigan State, need good results in mediocre seasons just to get onto the field.
Until then, here are the Sporting News predictions for the final field of 68, according to Bill Bender:
- 1-seeds: Gonzaga, Michigan, Baylor, Illinois
- 2 seeds: Alabama, Iowa, Houston, Ohio State
- 3 seeds: Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Virginia
- 4 seeds: State of Florida, Purdue, Texas, West Virginia
2021 NCAA Tournament Schedule
The 2021 NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, March 18, and each First Four game will take place on a single day (as opposed to previous years, which took place over the course of two days). March Madness will continue as usual from there, culminating in the Final Four and the national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 3 and 5, respectively.
|First four||March 18th|
|Round 1||March 19-20|
|Round 2||March 21-22|
|Sweet 16||March 27-28|
|Elite eight||March 29-30|
|The last four||April 3|
|National Championship||5th of April|
When are the first four?
Eight teams – the four lowest-seeded automatic qualifiers and the four lowest-seeded overall offers – will play in four “Top Four” games on Thursday, March 18. That will reduce the starting field from 68 teams to 64, ending the tournament bracket.
When is the Final Four?
March Madness 2021 will conclude with the Final Four and the national championship rounds in Indianapolis. The Final Four will take place on April 3; two days later, the season will culminate with the national championship game.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.