The new March Madness format at a glance
The NCAA on Monday released details of how the expanded 68-team format will work for the men's basketball tournament, beginning in March 2011.
- The first round will now include eight teams playing to advance to the second round (the first Thursday-Friday of the tournament).
- Two first-round games will match teams seeded 65 through 68 and the winners advance to play a No. 1 seed. These will almost surely be small schools; none of the 15 or 16 seeds in last season's tournament were from a BCS conference.
- The other two first-round games will include the last four at-large teams selected, raising the possibility that teams from BCS conferences will have to play their way into the second round. These teams will be seeded where they would normally be placed in the bracket, meaning a first-round game between two No. 10 seeds would result in the winner advancing to play a No. 7 seed.
- Teams will continue to be assigned to the closest available geographic location while avoiding regular-season rematches and conference opponents.
- The tournament will have 31 conference automatic qualifiers and 37 at-large selections. The first round will be broadcast nationally on Turner Broadcasting's truTV.