How to Interpret the College Basketball Tournament Bracket


Steps:
1.Remember that there are two tournaments - one for men and one for women.
2.Know that there are 64 teams in each tournament, selected from NCAA Division I schools across the country.
3.Understand that most national conferences, such as the Big Ten, Pac-10 or SEC, have automatic bids for tournament seeds. In such cases, either a team will access the bracket by winning its conference championship (as in the Big Ten) or by having the best standing (as in the Pac-10, which has no conference tournament).
4.Watch for the remaining (and excellent) college team standings – these are the next chosen to enter the tournament. If Temple wins the men's Atlantic 10, for example, it's likely Dayton will still reach the tournament based on its high season record.
5.Know that the questionable selections for the tournament are referred to as "bubble teams," or said to be "on the bubble."
6.Understand that an NCAA selection committee has definitive say over all teams entering the tournament, though the committee's mystery and power revolves around the bubble teams.
7.Realize that a major factor in helping the selection committee choose bubble teams is the rating percentage index (RPI). This number is determined by a team's Division I winning percentage (25 percent), its schedule strength (50 percent), and its opponent's schedule strength (25 percent). Games against non-Division I teams are not factored into the RPI.
8.Grow anxious as Selection Sunday approaches (March 12, 2000, 6:30 p.m. EST, CBS-TV). This is when the full bracket is released.
9.Note that the teams are divided into four regions: East, West, South and Midwest.
1..Know that this is a single-elimination tournament played in six rounds: first round, second round, third (Sweet Sixteen), fourth (Elite Eight), fifth (Final Four), and the sixth round (National Championship). 


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