Understanding the Opening Rounds and Regional Setup of the 2023 NCAA Basketball Tournament

2023 ncaa tournament schedule

March Madness is one of the most exciting times of the year for college basketball fans. The NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, also known as the Big Dance, features 68 teams from across the country battling it out for the national championship title. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at how the opening rounds and regional setup work in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The opening rounds of the tournament are often referred to as the "First Four" and take place before the official start of the tournament. These games feature eight teams, four of which are automatic qualifiers from smaller conferences and four that are at-large teams chosen by the selection committee. The winners of the First Four games advance to the first round of the tournament, where they are seeded according to the committee's rankings.

2023 NCAA Tournament First Four Schedule 

  • 3/14/2023 University Of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH
  • 3/15/2023 University Of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH

After the First Four, the tournament officially begins with the first and second rounds. The first round features 32 games played over the course of two days. The second round, often referred to as the "Round of 32," features 16 games played over two more days. The winners of these games advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

2023 NCAA Tournament 1st and 2nd Round Schedule 

  • 3/16 & 3/18 Amway Center, Orlando, FL
  • 3/16 & 3/18 Legacy Arena at The BJCC, Birmingham, AL
  • 3/16 & 3/18 Wells Fargo Arena - IA, Des Moines, IA
  • 3/16 & 3/18 Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
  • 3/17 & 3/19 Ball Arena, Denver, CO
  • 3/17 & 3/19 Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
  • 3/17 & 3/19 Greensboro Coliseum At Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, NC
  • 3/17 & 3/19 MVP Arena, Albany, NY

One of the unique aspects of the NCAA Basketball Tournament is its regional setup. The tournament is divided into four regions: East, West, South, and Midwest.  The regional setup allows fans to follow their favorite teams as they progress through the tournament, and it also creates a sense of regional pride and rivalry.  The winners of the Sweet Sixteen games advance to the regional finals, also known as the Elite Eight. The winners of the Elite Eight games then advance to the national semifinals, also known as the Final Four.

2023 NCAA Tournament Regional Schedule 

  • 3/23 & 3/25 West Regional - T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
  • 3/23 & 3/25 East Regional - Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
  • 3/24 & 3/26 Midwest Regional - T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, MO
  • 3/24 & 3/26 South Regional - KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY

The Final Four features four teams competing in a single-elimination tournament format. The winners of the two Final Four games advance to the national championship game, which is played on the first Monday in April.

2023 NCAA Tournament Final Four Schedule 

  • 4/1 Final Four Semifinals - NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
  • 4/3 Finals - NRG Stadium, Houston, TX

In addition to the excitement of the games themselves, the NCAA Basketball Tournament is also known for its unpredictability. Upsets are common, and lower-seeded teams have a history of knocking off higher-seeded favorites. This unpredictability adds to the excitement of the tournament and makes it a favorite of sports fans around the world - here.

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is one of the most exciting and unpredictable events in sports. The opening rounds and regional setup create a unique and thrilling experience for fans, and the tournament has a rich history of upsets and unexpected outcomes. As we approach March Madness 2023, fans are eagerly anticipating the start of the tournament and the drama and excitement that it will bring.

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