- March Madness officially starts with Selection Sunday on March 12.
- The men’s championship game is scheduled for April 3 in Houston.
- The Houston Cougars currently sit at the top of the AP Top 25 Poll and lead the country in scoring defense.
Gear up with face paint and foam fingers. March Madness is nearly here. In two weeks, 68 men’s college basketball teams will play off for a national championship title.
Throughout the Big Dance, we’ll keep you posted with game results and tournament highlights. Find rankings, facts, and stats to use when filling out your bracket. (Or, ignore us and wager bragging rights on your school’s team.)
But first, jot down these important dates.
March Madness Schedule 2023
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has yet to announce specific game times for March Madness, but you can add these important dates to your calendar.
|Selection Sunday||March 12|
|First Four||March 14-15|
|First Round||March 16-17|
|Second Round||March 18-19|
|Sweet 16||March 23-24|
|Elite Eight||March 25-26|
|Final Four||April 1|
|NCAA Championship||April 3|
On Selection Sunday, the March Madness Selection Committee picks the 68 teams to play in the men’s March Madness tournament.
Sixty have a spot in the bracket. Eight teams — the four lowest automatic-bid teams and the four lowest ranked at-large teams — compete in the “First Four” games, March 14-15. Only four of these eight teams join the main tournament.
By April, only four teams will remain. The championship game is April 3 in Houston.
How to Watch March Madness
Most March Madness games will air live on channels like TBS, TNT, TruTV, and CBS.
If you don’t have access to cable, you can stream games from your computer, phone, or TV. Streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV Stream, YouTube TV, or Paramount+ are all options to make sure you never miss a game.
Alternatively, think of creative ways to keep up with the tournament. Watch parties or live collegewide viewings can be fun ways to watch while saving a couple bucks.
2022-2023 College Basketball Rankings
In true March Madness fashion, the AP Poll rankings heading into the tournament look very different from the preseason poll. See how teams rose and fell since the preseason.
The Top Five Men’s Basketball Programs: Fast Facts
- Four of the five top-ranked teams’ head coaches have been placed on the watch list for the 2023 Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Award.
- The top five teams represent five different conferences.
- The fight for the No. 1 position heading into the tournament is still on.
Read up on the top performers in the college basketball scene, holding offensive and defensive records, per NCAA Statistics. As of Feb. 28:
- Yuri Collins from Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Conference claims the most assists per game at just over an average of 10.
- Zach Edey of Purdue leads the nation in rebounds per game with an average of 12.9. Kentucky Wildcat Oscar Tshiebwe averages just .01 fewer rebounds per game than Edey. Tshiebwe and Edey are both contenders for National Player of the Year.
- Senior guard Antoine Davis leads the country in points per game at 28.4 on average, bringing Detroit Mercy into the national spotlight.
What Makes This Season Special
Houston Spends Six Weeks at No. 1
With an overall record of 27-2 and only one loss in conference play, as of March 1, the Houston Cougars have held the top rank for five weeks in the 2022-23 season. They’re currently riding a nine-game winning streak with only two games left in the regular season.
They secured big wins over Oregon, Saint Mary’s, and Virginia, but lost to Alabama, the current second-place team in the AP Poll, 65-71.
The American Athletic Conference claims two national championships in men’s basketball, but Houston would be the first conference winner since the 1960s.
Boiler Up! Purdue Progresses From the Early Season
Starting in Week 3, Purdue made its way into the Top 25 teams in the country from an unranked position. By Week 6, they were No. 1.
Purdue currently sits in fifth after losses to Northwestern and Maryland and two losses to Indiana. But for eight weeks, they claimed the top spot.
The Boilermakers have plenty of talent, including the 7-foot-4-inch National Player of the Year contender Zach Edey who averages 22.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.
First-year duo starters Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith also add to the Boilermakers’ success, averaging 11.8 and 9.8 points per game, respectively.
Unranked Teams Advance to Top Performers
Purdue is one of several teams making national headlines from an unranked preseason position. Marquette, Kansas State, Saint Mary’s, Providence, Northwestern, and Texas A&M are currently ranked in the top 25.
Northwestern recently beat Purdue for the first time in nine years. It was their first win ever against a No. 1-ranked team.
✅ Upset then-No. 1 Purdue
✅ Beat No. 14 Indiana in final seconds
✅ Blow out Iowa to snap 9-game series skid
Relive @NUMensBball‘s historic last three games that have the program back in the national polls ⤵️. 😈 pic.twitter.com/j3Zi0IkD0p
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 21, 2023
Meanwhile, teams that were originally ranked like North Carolina (preseason rank No. 1),
Kentucky (preseason rank No. 4), and Villanova (preseason rank No.16) are slipping from the top.
HBCUs Make Headlines
Teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) have earned attention this season. Both the MEAC and SWAC comprise historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
MEAC member Norfolk State battles for their third consecutive regular season title and third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In the first round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in 2019, Norfolk State beat out the Alabama Crimson Tide. They are currently 9-4 in the MEAC, as of March 1.
The SWAC fought early in the season against nonconference teams, collecting wins against Colorado, Vanderbilt, Arizona State, and SMU. Grambling State is the highest-ranked team at 13-3 in conference, tied with Alcorn State, as of March 1.