It is time for the Big Dance. Let the madness begin.
March Madness tipped off on Sunday, with college basketball fans preparing for a three-week feast of hoops.
During Selection Sunday, Alabama (29-5), was named the overall No. 1 seed in the men’s tournament The Crimson Tide will be in the South Region and is the top overall seed for the first time in program history.
Other top regional seeds are Houston, Kansas and Purdue.
The top spot was secured with the Tide’s 82-63 victory against Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference tournament final after the other contender for the overall No. 1 seed, Kansas, lost Saturday in the Big 12 championship game, AL.com reported.
Alabama will open the tournament on Thursday by playing the winner of a No. 16 seed play-in game on Tuesday between Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Southeast Missouri State.
In the Midwest, Houston (31-3) was named the top seed.
In the West Region, Kansas (27-7) was named the No. 1 seed. It was the second consecutive season that the Jayhawks have been named a top seed and the 16th time in the program’s history.
In the East, Purdue (29-5) was named the top seed in the region. The Boilermakers earned the fourth No. 1 seed in program history and its first since 1996.
Selection Sunday is the day the men’s and women’s brackets are completed, with 32 filled by the teams that won their conference tournaments. The other 36 teams qualified for “at-large” berths and were chosen by the NCAA Selection Committee.
Games for the men’s First Four will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, while the women’s version will tip off Wednesday and Thursday.
The men’s first-round games for the men are spread across Thursday and Friday, while the first-rounders in the women’s tournament begin Friday and end Saturday.
For the men’s tournament, the second round will be contested on March 18-19, while Sweet 16 games will be held March 23-24. The Elite Eight games will be played on March 25 and 26.
The Final Four will be held at NRG Stadium in Houston on April 1, with the national championship game held two days later.
In the women’s tournament, second-round games will be played March 19-20, with the Sweet 16 held March 24-25.
The Elite Eight games will be played March 26-27, with the Final Four to be played on March 31.
The Final Four games, and the women’s title game scheduled for April 2, will be held at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The men’s tournament has had its share of Cinderella teams through the years. Last year, St. Peter’s, a small school in Jersey City, New Jersey, became the first No. 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament history. The school knocked off No. 3 Purdue and No. 2 Kentucky en route to the final eight.
The biggest shocker might have been in 2018, when No. 16 seed University of Maryland, Baltimore, stunned top-seeded Virginia in first-round play. It remains the only time a 16th-seed has knocked off a No. 1.