The 36 at-large teams are chosen by a selection committee. These teams are evaluated based upon their regular season body of work, how well they did in their respective conference championship tournament (if applicable) and other statistics such as their national rank and RPI. This is where the word “Bracketology” comes into play, as it is the process of speculating and predicting the field of 68 or more specifically, the 36 at-large teams that will fill out the March Madness field.
The selection committee also takes the 68 teams and gives them seeding to determine where in the bracket they will be. #1 seeds have yet to lose in the first round in the Men’s tournament, although it’s just a matter of time, it has already happened in the Women’s tournament in 1998 when #16 Harvard beat #1 Stanford. Seeding is how upsets are determined, as the committee tries to rank the 68 teams from 1 to 68. The top four all get #1 seeds in each of the four regions and the next four all get #2 seeds, etc.
Once the selection committee is finished with their work, it is announced on Selection Sunday and the Brackets are revealed. Here is the 2015 Bracket!
Now life in America changes for almost two weeks beginning on Tuesday with the play-in games!