March Madness: Keep Up With Key Dates for This Year’s Tourney

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March is here, and that means college hoops fans are turning their attention to the upcoming tournament. In just a few short weeks, the top college basketball programs in the country will go to battle in hopes of being crowned champion.

One of the greatest things about the tournament is that it moves so quickly. If you don’t have much time to spare for this year’s tournament, then at least know some of the key dates. Take a look at the following checkpoints that you don’t want to miss this spring — and good luck with your bracket!

Even casual fans of college basketball will want to mark this one down on their calendars. The rankings for each team in this year’s tournament will be released on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Tune in to your favorite sporting news networks to get tips on your bracket immediately after this, as you’ll have only two days until the tournament officially starts.

First round games
The first round of the tournament is when the action really begins to heat up. With play-in games and classic regional matchups, there’s sure to be enough upsets to mar even the most perfectly drawn-up bracket. One of the most action-filled parts of the entire season, the first round games will take place March 17–18.

Second and third round games
The second and third round games are where we will see if any Cinderella teams emerge. If a sub-#11 ranked team makes it to the Sweet Sixteen or beyond, they’re considered a Cinderella team. George Mason, anyone? This is where you’ll see the bulk of the games in the tournament. Will we see any repeats from last year? Catch both rounds March 19–22.

The regionals are tough to make, but they provide some of the best games you’ll ever see. Those that are left are not always the top teams, but they are the hottest teams playing ball. The winners of each game will advance to the national semifinals of the college basketball championship. Be ready for some real madness this weekend. Check out the regionals March 26–29.

National semifinals
If you can watch only two games during the tournament, these are the ones you should see. The thrill of the championship game still lying ahead makes these matchups even better, and all four teams will pull out all the stops. The games will take place April 4 in Indianapolis in front of what will almost certainly be a packed house.

National championship
The road to the championship ends in Indianapolis. Only two teams out of 64 will be left standing when this game tips off on April 6. Tune in with your friends to watch two of the best battle it out in the biggest basketball game of the year.

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