Division I Committee Follows
NCAA Championship Bracket Guidelines
The Division I Men's Basketball Championship bracket includes 64 teams, with all
teams playing in the first round. Thirty
berths are filled by institutions representing
conferences awarded automatic qualification
and the Division I Men's Basketball Committee is charged with selecting the next best
34 teams available, which includes independents, conferences without automatic qualification and other teams from conferences receiving automatic qualification, for the
remaining positions in the bracket.
For all prelirninary-round sessions, institutions shall not be assigned to their home
court (i.e., courts on which the institution
plays more than one-half of its regular-season home basketball games).
Each region in the 64-team bracket includes 16 teams. The placement of seeds
The efforts of the NCAA Division I Men's
Basketball Committee are announced on
"Selection Sunday," following conference
appears in the same order in each bracket.
The No. 1 seed will play No. 16, No. 8 vs.
No. 9, No. 5 plays No. 12 and No. 4 meets
No. 13 in the top half of each bracket. The
lower half of the bracket includes No. 6
against No. 11, No. 3 vs. No. 14, No. 7
facing No. 10 and No. 2 plays No. 15.
The following winners play in the second
round: No. 1-No. 16 vs. No. 8-No. 9, No.
5-No. 12 vs. No. 4-No. 13, No. 6-No. 11
vs. No. 3-No. 14 and No. 7-No. 10 vs. No.
The 16 second-round winners qualify for
regional competition. The eight winners advance to the finals in each region, and the
four champions compete for the National
There shall be no restriction as to the
number of teams selected from one confer
ence on an at-large basis. The committee
will attempt to place only one conference
representative in each of the four regions
within a region. Also, the committee will
attempt to format the bracket to prevent two
teams from the same conference from competing against each other prior to a regional
The tournament began in 1939 with an
eight-team format and continued that way
for 12 years. The bracket was expanded to
16 teams for two seasons, 1951 and 1952,
and then fluctuated between 22 and 25
teams between 1953 and 1974. There were
22 teams in the tournament in 1953 and
1966; 23 in 1957, 1959, 1965, 1967 and
1968; 24 in 1954, 1955, 1958 and 1961; and
25 teams participated in 1956, 1960, 1962,
1963, 1964, and 1969 through 1974.
A 32-team bracket was adopted in 1975
and was raised to 40 in 1979 and 48 in
1980. In 1983, 52 teams competed and one
more team was added the following year.
The current 64-team format started in 1985.
East Region — Atlantic Coast Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference, Big East
Conference, Colonial Athletic Association,
East Coast Conference, Ivy Group, Metro
Atlantic Athletic Conference, Mid-Eastern
Athletic Conference, North Atlantic Conference, Northeast Conference.
Southeast Region — Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference, Ohio Valley
Conference, Southeastern Conference,
Southern Conference, Sun Belt Conference,
Trans America Athletic Conference.
Midwest Region — Association of Mid-
Continent Universities, Big Eight Conference, Big Ten Conference, Mid-American
Athletic Conference, Midwestern Collegiate Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Southland Conference, Southwest
Athletic Conference, Southwestern Athletic
West Region — Big Sky Conference, Big
West Conference, Pacific-10 Conference,
West Coast Conference, Western Athletic
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