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How Does March Madness Work?

With March Madness around the corner, casual college basketball fans, like every year, may be asking themselves how the NCAA Tournament works. Luckily, we've got a simple breakdown of everything you need to know about the world's most exciting postseason tournament.

To start, there are 68 teams placed in a bracket and given the chance to play for a national title. A "Selection Committee" is tasked with putting together the field, but they actually don't get to choose every team that qualifies. In total, 32 of the teams are automatically entered - 31 of them are conference tournament winners, while one (Ivy League) is the regular season champion. 

The other 36 bids are handed out on an at-large basis - meaning the committee believes they've done enough in the season to warrant inclusion. 

In the actual tournament itself, the four lowest-ranked automatic qualifiers and the four lowest-ranked at-large qualifiers play in what's called the "First Four" set of games to reach the Round of 64. From there, the bracket works as normal, with six wins being needed to take home the trophy.

Simple enough, right? Now you just need to figure out which teams to pick...