A Guide to the 2022 March Madness Tournament

Basketball Court, March Madness Logo

Selection Sunday is over and the brackets for the 2022 March Madness tournaments are officially set. Tomorrow, the Men’s 2022 NCAA Tournaments tips off with No. 16 Texas Southern taking on No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Women’s March Madness Tournament begins on Wednesday as No. 16 Incarnate Word faces off with No. 16 Howard.

The First Four for both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournaments will play out over the next several days. Then, on Thursday the first round of the Men’s tournament will begin with No. 6 Colorado State facing off against No. 11 Michigan. In the Women’s tournament, the first game of round one will feature No. 8 Miami (FL) taking No. 9 South Florida.

With nearly three weeks of exciting action ahead of us, the NCAA Tournaments will offer plenty of betting opportunities. Building a bracket is a popular way to bet on the March Madness tournaments. Keep reading for a breakdown of all the important information for the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournaments.

2022 NCAA Tournament Important Dates

Both the Men’s and Women’s tournament brackets were announced on Selection Sunday. With both tournaments taking place during the same three-week period, it is easy to get dates confused. Let’s start by taking a closer look at the key dates for the Men’s 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Important Dates for the Men’s March Madness Tournament:

  • First Four: March 15-16th
  • First Round Games: March 17-18th
  • Second Round Games: March 19-20
  • Sweet 16: March 24-25th
  • Elite Eight: March 26-27th
  • Final Four: April 2nd
  • NCAA Championship Game: April 4th

The Men’s tournament starts on Tuesday with the beginning of the First Four games. All four of the games will be taking place in Dayton, OH. Once the final teams are decided, the first round will begin on St. Patrick’s Day. The second round will take place over the weekend.

Next Thursday, the Sweet 16 begins and will be followed by the Elite Eight next weekend. The Final Four takes place on the first Saturday in April. Finally, the champion will be crowned on Monday, April 4th.

Important Dates for the Women’s March Madness Tournament:

  • First Four: March 16-17th
  • First Round Games: March 18-19th
  • Second Rounds Games: March 20-21st
  • Sweet 16: March 25-26th
  • Elite Eight: March 27-28th
  • Final Four: April 1st
  • NCAA Championship Game: April 3rd

The Women’s NCAA Tournament will operate on a slightly different timeline. No. 16 Incarnate Word will take on No. 16 Howard in the first of the First Four games on Wednesday. The first-round tips off on Friday and the second round starts Sunday.

After a four-day break in the action, the Women’s Sweet 16 will start next Friday and will be followed by the Elite 8 beginning Sunday the 27th. The Women’s Final Four will take place on April 1st. Finally, the Women’s national champion will be crowned on Sunday, April 3rd.

Top Seeds in March Madness

One of the biggest stories coming out of Selection Sunday was the naming of the number 1 seeds. The selection committee uses a variety of criteria, such as quality of wins, to determine the seeds for all 68 teams in the tournament. Each year, the best teams in the tournament are rewarded for their hard play in the regular season with easier opponents in the early rounds.

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This year, both tournaments will feature defending champions as number one seeds. Baylor and Stanford will both look to repeat as champions. However, neither will do so as the top overall seed. Gonzaga is the number 1 overall seed in the Men’s tournament as they look to secure their first NCAA championship. Meanwhile, the South Carolina Gamecocks have the top overall seed in the Women’s tournament.

In addition to Gonzaga and Baylor, both Arizona and Kansas will also be No.1 seeds in the Men’s tournament. In his last tournament with Duke’s Men’s basketball, Coach K and the Blue Devils will be a second seed. Meanwhile, NC State and Louisville will join SC and Stanford as top seeds in the Women’s tournament.

Which Region Is the Hardest?

The NCAA Tournament is a time for college players to show off their skills on a national stage. With so many talented players, no team has an easy path to the national title. However, some paths are harder than others.

In the Men’s tournament, the top-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs did not get any help from the selection committee. If the bracket plays out as seeded, Gonzaga will have to get past several trap games to get back to the title game. Along the way, potential matchups with Boise State, Arkansas, and Duke are all potential roadblocks. The 2022 West Region is one of the strongest regions we have seen in recent years.

The toughest region in the Women’s NCAA Tournament could very well be the Bridgeport Region. NC State is entering March Madness as a number 1 seed once again. However, the Wolfpack was upset last year in the Sweet 16. To make it further this season, NC State will have to get past several tough contenders. The Bridgeport region could feature matchups with Oklahoma, Indiana, and UConn.

Potential Bracket Busters to Keep an Eye On

A big part of the magic of March Madness is the potential for upsets. Seemingly every year, at least one team will make a Cinderella run that busts brackets across the country. The one-and-done nature of the tournament leaves little room for mistakes. This year, there are several teams in both tournaments that have the potential to pull off major upsets.

Two teams that could break brackets in the Men’s March Madness Tournament are Loyola-Chicago and South Dakota State. Loyola-Chicago has become a fan favorite in recent years thanks to their yearly underdog runs. They have won at least two games in each of their last two tournament appearances. In their first-round matchup, the Ramblers will face a Buckeyes team that has lost four of its last five games.

South Dakota State on the other hand brings one of the best offensive units in the country to the dance. The Jackrabbits average over 86 PPG and will face a surprisingly high-ranked Friars team. Providence is coming off a blowout loss to Creighton and could suffer another upset on Thursday. SD State has one of the best offensive units in the Midwest Region this year.

There are several sleeper teams In the Women’s NCAA Tournament as well. Both Princeton and Stephen F. Austin appear poised to break plenty of brackets this year. Princeton has a top-5 defense and is riding a 17-game win streak. In last week’s AP Poll, they were ranked 24th entering the Ivy League playoffs. The Tigers earned regular-season victories over Villanova, Buffalo, and Temple.

Stephen F. Austin is another tough defensive unit that should have teams on upset alert heading into the Women’s NCAA Tournament. The Ladyjacks are led by two seniors that combine for over 28 PPG. A first-round matchup against North Carolina could be a low-scoring affair between two top defensive teams.

Conclusion

The Men and Women’s NCAA Tournaments will officially tip off this week. 68 teams in each tournament will have a chance at making history in one of the most exciting events of the year. The tournaments will also offer plenty of chances to win real money betting on college basketball. Be sure to check back every week for updates on all the March Madness action.