March Madness Bracket 2017: When March Madness Starts & Bracket Release Date

when does march madness start, bracket released, date

The Selection Committee gathers in New York City to begin the seeding process. (Getty)

College basketball fans will finally get to see what the 2017 NCAA Tournament looks like on Selection Sunday. CBS will begin the bracket unveiling at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, March 12.

Once the bracket is announced, major sites like ESPN, Yahoo, CBS Sports along with many other sites will allow fans to begin filling out their bracket on Sunday night. A total of 68 teams make the tournament with four teams playing in the First Four contests in Dayton on March 14-15.

The field will feature 36 at-large teams selected by the committee along with 32 teams who received automatic bids by winning their conference tournament.

The majority of teams will begin playing on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The second round of the tournament begins on Saturday, March 18. By the end of the first weekend of the tournament, the field of 64 will be whittled down to 16 teams (Sweet 16).

The following eight cities will host first and second round games in this year’s tournament: Buffalo, Milwaukee, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Greenville, Indianapolis, Tulsa and Sacramento.

The Sweet 16 takes place March 23-24 in the following cities (bracket region): Kansas City (Midwest), San Jose (West), Memphis (South) and New York City (East). The same cities will host the Elite 8 on March 25-26.

This year’s Final Four takes place in Phoenix on Saturday, April 1 with the championship game on Monday, April 3.

The four top seeds are widely expected to be Gonzaga, Villanova, Kansas and North Carolina. There is some debate over Kansas spot on the top line given their early exit in the Big 12 Tournament but the loss to TCU is unlikely to knock the Jayhawks down from a one seed. offers a free printable bracket here.

(Courtesy of