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March Madness Bracket 2016: When Does This Year's NCAA Tournament Start?

Yes, we're already a full week into March. But no, March Madness - which determines this year's national champion - has yet to begin. Sure - five college basketball teams have already punched their tickets to the Big Dance - but most of the field is yet to be determined. This week, most conferences are playing their postseason tournaments. But when does the real competition begin?

This Sunday, March 13, the NCAA Tournament selection committee will unveil the 68 teams that will be playing for it all. The selection show, usually an hour long, has been extended to cover two hoursthis year. It's unclear how CBS will space out the unveiling of the four regions. 

As a reminder, there are 32 teams that will qualify for the tournament via automatic bids. The last - the Big Ten Tournament final - will be handed out just minutes before the entire field is announced. The other 36 squads will qualify via "at-large" bids. 

Here's the schedule for this year's NCAA Tournament. 

  • The "First Four" will be be played in Dayton, Ohio on March 15 and 16.
  • The First Round will be played on March 17 and 18. 
  • The Second Round will be played on March 19 and 20.
  • The Sweet Sixteen will be played on March 25 and 26. 
  • The Elite Eight will be played on March 27 and 28.
  • The Final Four will be played on April 2.
  • The Championship Game will take place on April 4.

This year's Final Four and Championship Game will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Check back in this Sunday for a printable bracket, analysis, predictions, picks and more.