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March Madness 2019: Everything You Need to Know about March Madness

ANALYST
Feature
06 Mar 2019, 07:46 IST

March Madness: Sweet 16 and Elite 8

This is where the tournament starts to heat up (Picture Credit - ESPN Charlotte)
This is where the tournament starts to heat up (Picture Credit - ESPN Charlotte)

While the first and second rounds of the March Madness tournament are often entertaining, the competition really kicks into gear at the Sweet 16 stage. By this stage of the tournament, most of the weaker teams have been eliminated, and the due to the quality now on show, games tend to be a lot closer.

Winners of Sweet 16 match-ups then advance to the Elite 8, which is the final regional stage of the tournament. This stage of the tournament consists of the final eight teams, and due to the narrowed field, Elite 8 usually offers match-ups between long-term rivals. On average, at least three of the four number 1 seeds successfully make it to this stage of the tournament, although it has historically been the round where the favourites have been prone to upsets.


How many teams in March Madness?

Last year's winning Villanova team
Last year's winning Villanova team

The tournament has continually increased in size over the last few decades, although this year's number of competing teams remains at 68. The last expansion came back in 2011, although rumours continue to surface that the March Madness field will once again be expanded in the coming years.


March Madness Important Dates:

The tournament will once again attract big crowds
The tournament will once again attract big crowds

2019's March Madness tournament runs from March 17 to April 8, and you can find a breakdown of the key dates below:

Selection Sunday - March 17

First Four - March 19/20

1st/2nd Rounds - March 21/24

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South Regional - March 28/30

West Regional - March 28/30

East Regional - March 29/31

Midwest Regional - March 29/31

Final Four, National Championship - April 6/8

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