Welcome to FTW Explains: a guide to catching up on and better understanding stuff going on in the world. You might think the NCAA tournament starts Thursday, but really, it starts Tuesday with teams fighting for the No. 11 and No. 16 seeds in the First Four round. If you’re confused or wondering why that is, we’re here to help.

If it’s called the First Four, why are some No. 11 seed teams playing and not all No. 16 seeds?

That’s what we’re here to explain. It makes sense that two of the First Four games have teams playing for the No. 16 seeds. But the other two games – this year it’s Arizona State-Syracuse and St. Bonaventure-UCLA – are playing for the No. 11 seeds in the Midwest and East regions. Why?

The short answer is because that’s how the selection committee completes its bracket, and it stems from a rule change in 2016. Keep reading if you want a more in-depth explanation.

But first, the basics…

The Bracket: https://t.co/Jr1kdnP4HV #SelectionSunday pic.twitter.com/ynxB0hfOso

— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 11, 2018

There are 68 total teams invited to the Big Dance. The selection committee ultimately divides them into four regions – East, West, South and Midwest – and seeds them No. 1 through No. 16. The top-seeded team plays the No. 16 seed in the first round, No. 2 plays No. 15, and so on down to No. 8 vs. No. 9.

But wait, how does that work? Four regions multiplied by 16 teams equals 64, so how are there 68 teams? Glad you asked.

Who gets to go to the NCAA Tournament?

(Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The field of teams expanded from 64 to 68 in 2011. Now, 32 teams automatically qualify for the tournament by winning their …read more

Source:: For The Win


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