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NCAA Tournament Has Set A Requirement For Hopeful Teams

A general view of the NCAA March Madness logo on center court

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 21: A general view of the March Madness logo on center court is seen before the game between the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and the Florida Gators in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The NCAA Tournament is hoping to return to normal in 2022 after two years of being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 edition of March Madness was cancelled entirely, while the 2021 event took place entirely in the state of Indiana. Although this year's tournament is expected to go off without a hitch the selection committee is planning to implement one unique stipulation for teams to meet in order to qualify for the field of 68.

According to CBS Sports' Matt Norlander, the NCAA Tournament will have a minimum requirement of 25 games played to make the Big Dance. Teams under 25 games would need to receive a waiver to play in the tournaments.

The selection committee decided against a blanket waiver, which would have lowered the minimum number of games needed.

"[The committee] decided against a blanket waiver, which would have lowered that minimum number to some other number," NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt told CBS Sports. "But there is an individual institution waiver process. So if a team [with a] situation out of its control can't reach that number of 25 games, there's a waiver process in place that the committees can review and grant an exception waiver for championship eligibility."

The current window to apply for a waiver is scheduled for Feb. 14-25. However, it's currently looking like waivers won't be needed as game cancellations have grown less frequent in recent weeks.

Apart from the new waiver process, the planning for the 2022 NCAA tournament has been moving ahead normally, as it did prior to the 2019-20 season.

"Things are going well," Gavitt told CBS Sports. "Planning has been good and we feel good and confident with where we are -- as much as you can be."

The 2022 NCAA Tournament will tip-off on March 13 and run through the national championship game on April 4.