What is First Four March Madness?

For Bookies, March Madness should be your favorite time of the gambling year. It’s a hectic time, a busy time and you will win big. The first step is knowing how March Madness works, how the tournament is put together and what teams are in the tournament, to begin with. March Madness 2020 is right around the corner so be sure that you have all of you proverbial “ducks in a row” because this month will live up to its namesake. It’s truly “madness” and there is a lot of money to be made. You may be a bookie that has yet to find an online presence or you are looking to upgrade to a better performing management system. Find the best pay per head and make the switch. Get online and start earning what you’re worth. If you care about keeping your clients in the fold, you must have an online presence.

What is March Madness?

  • March Madness is a nickname for the annual NCAA Division 1 College Basketball Tournament. Over the course of the college basketball season teams amass a win/loss record and based on that record, teams are either invited to the tournament or they receive what’s called an “at large bid”. At the end of the regular season, there are 68 teams that make up the field for the March Madness, NCAA Division 1 Tournament.
  • The automatic bid: In NCAA Division 1 College Basketball there are 32 conferences spread across the country, which includes 347 teams/colleges. All 347 teams have a chance to become the national champions of college basketball! Again, the “March Madness” NCAA Tournament is home to 68 teams, 279 of the 347 teams will miss the tournament entirely, however, there are lesser-known tournaments that happen every year simultaneously with the NCAA Division 1 tournament. The NIT offers a well-known tournament that annually features their final four, and championship game in Madison Square Garden. Many of the better teams that missed getting in the NCAA tournament, they are invited to the NIT. There is also an even lesser-known tournament that is hosted by the NAIA. All of the tournaments in combination – going on in March – makes for “March Madness”.

The automatic bid is reserved for the conference winner. Remember, there are 32 conferences in Division 1 College Basketball, thus, 32 conference winners, and 32 teams that make the NCAA Division 1 Tournament by proxy. They are in and no matter who likes it or who may not like it, these 32 teams make up the first half of the field of 68.

  • The invitation: We know the tournament field is made up of 68 teams and we have just explained how the first 32 teams make into the tournament, but what about the remaining 36 teams, how do they get in the tournament? The NCAA has a designated committee made up of former coaches and sportswriters that determine who will be invited to the tournament. At the end of the regular season – the day after the final Saturday of basketball – there is what’s called “Selection Sunday”. Selection Sunday is a nationally televised event on CBS. The committee publicly chooses their selection and invites the 32 remaining teams to the tournament. The invitations are chosen based on the team’s final record and their strength of schedule.
  • The “First Four” or the “play-in games”. We know how the first 32 teams are in and we have explained the second field of 32, but what about the remaining four teams, how do they get in? In 2011 the NCAA selection committee decided to expand the tournament from 64 teams to 68 teams, none of which would either be as an automatic bid or as an invited team, but rather a “play-in”. This means the best 8 remaining teams that did not make the tournament, they will play in a bracket of four games to decide the last four teams to make it into the NCAA Division 1 Tournament and making up the field of 68 teams.


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