When does March Madness start? It’s a Thursday in mid-March, and you’re probably wondering where the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is. Don’t worry, you haven’t missed it. It’s just unusually late this year. The Tournament field of 68 teams is announced on Sunday, March 17, in a one-hour special on CBS beginning at 6pm ET.
Here’s the Tournament schedule at a glance:
NCAA Tournament Schedule
Selection Sunday March 17 (CBS)
First Four March 19-20 (truTV)
Second Round March 21-22 (CBS, TBS, TNT & truTV)
Third Round March 23-24 (CBS, TBS, TNT & truTV)
Regionals March 28-31 (CBS & TBS)
Final Four April 6 & 8 (CBS)
When do they actually start playing? The First Four (technically called the First Round) begins Tuesday, March 19, and continues Wednesday, March 20, in Dayton, Ohio. The field of 68 gets pared down to the 64 teams that will play in the Second Round Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22. The First Four games air exclusively on truTV.
What TV channels air the games? Every single Tournament game will be televised live across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. NCAA Tournament TV network breakdown: CBS 26 games, TBS 16 games, truTV 13 games, TNT 12 games.
What channel is truTV on? You can go to truTV.com and enter your zip code in the channel finder at the top of the page. You should be able to see your pay TV provider as well as the channel number:
Who are the TV announcers? Marv Albert and Steve Kerr call the March 19 First Four games with Craig Sager reporting. (Wednesday’s First Four broadcast team is to be announced on Sunday.) For the third consecutive year Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Steve Kerr and reporter Tracy Wolfson will broadcast the Final Four and championship game. The CBS/Turner broadcast teams for the second and third rounds are:
Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Tracy Wolfson
Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/Craig Sager
Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/Rachel Nichols
Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Len Elmore/Lewis Johnson
Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/Allie LaForce
Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner/Marty Snider
Tim Brando/Mike Gminski/Otis Livingston
Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb/Jaime Maggio
Who are the studio hosts and analysts? Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson anchor the studio show with analysts Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony and Kenny Smith in New York. Matt Winer anchors the coverage Atlanta, joined by analysts Seth Davis and Steve Smith, and contributor Lesley Visser.
Who are the top teams in the Tournament? Top teams in the hunt for a Final Four include Gonzaga, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown, Michigan, Kansas, Michigan State and Miami (Fla.)
Where does the Final Four take place? At the Georgia Dome in Atlanta
Who won last year? Last year, Kentucky defeated Kansas 67-59 for the school’s eighth national title and first for head coach John Calipari. But with most of that team leaving for the NBA, Kentucky plummeted out of the AP Top 25 early this season.
Photo: Credit: AJ Mast/Icon SMI/Newscom