March Madness® Explained

It’s time for another round of March Madness!
March madness

It’s time for another round of March Madness! Maybe you’re a total veteran when it comes to all things basketball. If not, fear not. We’re here to explain what the Tournament is, how it works, and how you can watch it!

Fast Facts about March Madness

  • March Madness is the NCAA® Division 1 men’s basketball tournament.
  • This is a single elimination tournament that begins with 68 teams.
  • Teams compete in seven rounds for the national championship.
  • The final round of games is known as the Final Four.
  • The tournament first began in 1939.
  • There were only eight teams competing for the championship in the first tournament.
  • The 2019 March Madness tournament is the 80th

How are the teams selected?

The first way a team can receive an invitation to the tournament is to be an automatic qualifier. Despite a team’s record for the season, if they won their conference and are eligible for postseason play, they count as an automatic qualifier.

Beyond qualifying through a conference championship, the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Committee comes together on Selection Sunday to choose 36 teams to invite to the tournament who were not automatically qualified.

March Madness 2019 dates

March 17, 2019 – Selection Sunday®

March 19-20, 2019 – First Four® games

March 21-24, 2019 – First- Second Round games

March 28-29 – Sweet 16 games

March 30-31, 2019 – Elite Eight® games

April 6, 2019 – Final Four® games

April 8, 2019 – National Championship game

How to watch March Madness

If you don’t want to miss a minute of the action from Selection Sunday to the National Championship® game, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly where you can watch March Madness.

Four ways to watch March Madness


You’ll find Selection Sunday and the Final Four games only on CBS, but all other games can be found on TBS, TNT and truTV. Be sure to check your DIRECTV channel lineup to make sure those channels are included in your package.


You’ll find all the big games on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. But be sure to check your U-VERSE channel lineup to make sure those channels are included in your package.


You can stream March Madness on the DIRECTV NOW app.


Included with your DIRECTV subscription, the DIRECTV app lets you stream live games, anytime, anywhere!

AT&T Block Party

Friday, April 5, 2019 7-11pm

This year, The Chainsmokers will be headlining the AT&T Block Party in Minneapolis, MN. This event will kick off three days of concerts leading up to the NCAA National Championship game.

Whether you’re just diving in to all of the madness that is March Madness, or you’re a pro, you won’t want to miss a minute of the March Madness action this year!

This article is AT&T sponsored content written by Tiffani Anderson, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are her own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T. 


The legal stuff

NCAA and March Madness are licensed by or trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

March Madness, Final Four, and other registered trademarks, names, and/or logos are the property of their respective owners, who may or may not be affiliated with, connected to, or sponsored by AT&T.

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