The 6 Rounds of College Basketball Tournament

The NCAA tournament happens at pre-selected neutral arenas in the course of three weeks. The playing teams are seeded by ranks and must compete in a single-elimination game.

1. The First Four

After Selection Sunday, eight low-seeded teams strive for a first-round position by playing four games on Tuesday and Wednesday. During the ranking of the 68 teams, the First Four to be knocked out are placed in positions 69 to 72. These are the teams that do not make it to the NCAA tournament.

2. The Second Round

Also referred to as the Round of 32, the Second Round takes place on Saturday and Sunday of the first week of NCAA tournament after the first round. The winners of Thursday participate in eight games on Saturday. Then Friday’s winners compete on Sunday in the rest of the eight second-round matches. When the first week is over, 16 teams remain standing and are referred to as the Sweet Sixteen.

3. Regional Semi-Finals

This round is the regional semi-finals involving the sweet sixteen teams. The teams will be competing in both semi-finals and finals in the second week. Like in the second round, games are split into four days: Thursday-Saturday and Friday-Sunday. There are four regional semi-final matches on Thursday and four others on Friday.

4. Regional Finals

The eight teams remaining after Friday’s competition are known as the Elite Eight. On Saturday, Thursday’s winners will be playing in two regional final games. Then the Friday winners will play two final games on Sunday. Four regional champions remain at the end of the second week (Final Four).

5. National Semi-Finals

The Final Four teams play on Saturday. These are the winners from the four regions- East, Midwest, West, and South.

6. National Championship

It is played in the third week of the tournament on Monday. The overall ranking of the top four teams in the original bracket determines which team plays against which.