This year, the madness begins with Selection Sunday 2016!
Watch on Sunday, March 13, 2016 as college basketball team match-ups are officially announced during a nationwide broadcast at 6PM ET on CBS and ESPN.
Once the highly-anticipated Selection Sunday announcement is made, the big dance begins with a month-long battle of skill, determination, and dazzling performances by top competing college teams.
From the announcement of the initial 64 teams — to eliminations that determine the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 — all the action leads to the Final Four and the ultimate championship game played at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX on Sunday, April 4, 2016.
2016 March Madness TV coverage
The NCAA's television deal with CBS Sports and Turner Sports (TBS, TNT and truTV) means that the two top broadcasters continued to have dibs on the rights to televise the NCAA Tournament games until 2024.
Watch for the First Four round to air exclusively on truTV beginning on March 15, 2016.
Sharing first and second round coverage will be TNT, TBS, and TruTV. Thereafter, the regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight) will air on TBS and CBS with the ultimate Championship game airing on TBS on April 4, 2016 in primetime.
Meanwhile, the madness continues to spread worldwide when Canadian audiences tune in to live broadcasts on TSN. Across the pond, European fans can watch on ESPN America while Australia usually catches the madness on select telecasts on ONE HD.
2016 March Madness game locations
March 15 and 16
University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH (Host: University of Dayton)
First and Second Rounds
March 17 and 19
Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI (Host: Providence College)
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA (Host: Iowa State University)
PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC (Host: North Carolina State University)
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO (Host: Mountain West Conference)
March 18 and 20
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NYC, NY (Host: Atlantic 10 Conference)
Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO (Host: Missouri Valley Conference)
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK (Host: Big 12 Conference)
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, WA (Host: University of Idaho)
Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight
March 24 and 26
South Regional, KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY (Host: University of Louisville)
West Regional, Honda Center, Anaheim, CA (Host: Big West Conference)
March 25 and 27
East Regional, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA (Host: La Salle University)
Midwest Regional, United Center, Chicago, IL (Host: Big Ten Conference)
Final Four and Championship
April 2 and 4
NRG Stadium, Houston, TX (Hosts: Rice University, Texas Southern University, University of Houston)
2016 March Madness tickets - watching the games live
The initial scramble for March Madness tickets for the first four, second/third round and regional games begins in late summer or fall of the year before.
Meanwhile, scoring tickets to local games means getting ready to pounce at venues where games will be played as they are announced in March - whether its smaller college arenas or mega-venus such as Madison Square Garden in New York City.
FINAL FOUR: For the most sought-after finals, the NCAA annually puts about 40% of allotted Final Four tickets up for grabs in a random selection process the year before. The rest are managed by their official partner, Prime Sport. They provide a safe venue for fans to swap or sell tickets for popular final game tickets. Don't forget that as the tournament heats up, prices can range anywhere from $30 and upwards to $15,000!
BUT BE CAREFUL OUT THERE: As usual, be wary of the unscrupulous ticket seller on Craig's list or any other person looking to score on the frenzy for March Madness tickets. Say no to cash payments and only use a credit card to have record of your purchase and to contest any argument. Pro Tip: Buy from reputable sites like StubHub and TicketsNow which offer guarantees for refunds or exchanges on ticket errors or canceled games.
March Madness trivia & fun facts
phrase March Madness was coined by Henry V. Porter in
1939 to describe an Illinois high school basketball tourney. Brent
Musburger first used it during NCAA coverage in 1982 causing a legal
battle almost as insane as the playoffs.
everyone finally worked things out and the madness was official.
There isn't a good record of who first called the playoffs "The
Big Dance", but it does describe the action.
The 5 schools
who have the winningest history in NCAA Division I Men's basketball
Carolina outlasted all the other teams 4 times, including
their championship win in 2005, and
Duke with 5 titles, the most recent in a nail biter over Wisconsin in 2015.
history is no guarantee in this Cinderella-laced NCAA tournament,
number one seeds have won every time in the first round for the
past 16 years and number two seeds have only lost three first round
games... a 95% win average.
What makes the
brackets exciting are the number 13 and 14 seeds who came out winners
in the first round 20 times since 1992... a sweet 16% that leads
to dreams of glory. Watch for them in your brackets. Also look for teams
from smaller conferences or those who had a bad start to the season,
but got their game on during the last weeks to pull off an invitation.
A power player on a slump or injury roster who recovers can mean
a lower seed for a solid team.
March Madness 2016 NCAA.com - The official site for ticket information, the latest updates,
scores, ranking and related pictures, videos, and feature stories, interviews
Basketball - CBS Sports - The official network TV station with headline reports & predictions, opinion
and news, plus the latest scores at a glance and key dates for major games.
Yahoo! NCAA College Basketball - Check out all the stats, brackets, news and analysis with a few extras that
may help with your bracket selections... or help you understand why your teams
did - or didn't - come through for you. Experts, blogs and videos for in depth
looks at the teams, coaches and players...