The NCAA Tournament is the most thrilling, maddening time of year for basketball fans (hence the name “March Madness”). And it all begins with Selection Sunday.
Before hoops fans can sink into that three-week culmination of the 2019-20 season, we first have to find out which teams will actually participate in March Madness.
A double-edged sword, the NCAA Tournament selection show can prove exhilarating for teams that sneak into the tournament, and heartbreaking for those that fall just short. For those teams that know they will be a part of the final field, it’s just a matter of working out seeding — which can be fascinating in its own right, especially in a year without a clearly elite team that stands out above the rest.
With that, here’s everything you need to know about Selection Sunday 2020, including dates, times, TV channel, bracket projections and more:
When is Selection Sunday 2020?
Selection Sunday 2020 will take place on Sunday, March 15. The NCAA Tournament bracket reveal will air at 6 p.m. ET, though the full 68-team can’t be unveiled until the completion of that day’s various conference tournaments.
What channel is March Madness selection show on?
The NCAA selection show will once again air on CBS, and can be streamed live online at NCAA March Madness Live. CBS will release the bracket region by region over the course of an hour, avoiding the disastrous 2018 experiment by TBS in which it revealed teams alphabetically — without unveiling the actual bracket bracket.
A similar mishap took place in 2016, when CBS dawdled over its bracket reveal for two hours, allowing someone else to leak a completely accurate bracket on Twitter. Thankfully, this year’s show should be concise and focus on what people actually want to discuss: the bracket.
NCAA Tournament 2020 selection format
The 68-deep NCAA Tournament is comprised of two types of teams: automatic qualifiers and at-large bids. Automatic qualifiers, which make up 32 of the 68 teams unveiled on Selection Sunday, are granted entry into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of having won their respective conference tournaments. As for how the NCAA selection committee’s formula for choosing its 36 at-large bids: There is none.
That said, the committee uses the recently installed NET ranking, which is now the organization’s primary sorting tool for evaluating teams during the season. It replaced the controversial RPI and enters its second year of use ahead of March Madness 2020.
March Madness bracket predictions
There’s no telling exactly which teams will make up the 2020 NCAA Tournament until Selection Sunday. Until then, the best you can hope for is an educated guest. That’s where Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan comes in: He will continue to monitor not only the NET ratings, but also the KenPom and KPI evaluation tools to project the full field of 68 ahead of Selection Sunday.
His latest projections (released on Monday) feature the usual suspects at the top of the seed lines:
Fagan’s full 68-team projection can be found here:
NCAA Tournament schedule 2020
The 2020 NCAA Tournament starts on March 17 with the First Four and ends April 6 in Atlanta, host of this year’s Final Four and national championship games. The first and second rounds will be played March 19-22 followed by the Sweet 16 (March 26-27) and Elite Eight (March 28-29) a week later.
When is the First Four?
Not all of the 68 teams will get to play in the 2020 NCAA Tournament. Eight teams — the four lowest-seeded automatic and at-large bids — will play in four “First Four” games on March 17 and 18 to earn entry into the tournament proper.
When is the Final Four?
After the 2020 NCAA Tournament has been whittled down from 68, 64, 32, 16 and eight teams, it will conclude with the Final Four and national championship game in Atlanta.
More Selection Sunday news by Sporting News
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