So with 68 teams in March Madness, how are the teams decided you may wonder?
A March Madness Selection Committee consisting of Athletic Directors, Conference Vice Presidents and Conference Commissioners are tasked with selecting the teams that do not automatically qualify. 32 teams will automatically qualify as their conference champion, leaving 36 spots left to be decided upon, getting one of these spots is known as receiving an at-large bid.
So how do they select the remaining 36 at-large teams? The short answer is by ballot. Any team in reasonable contention will be on a ‘under-consideration’ board. Each member of the committee will file a list of not more than 37 teams they feel should receive an at large bid. Any team with 3 or more votes will remain in consideration and various more rounds take place until they agree upon the 36 at-large teams.
Once the field is set, the Selection Committee will then rank the teams from 1-68 and split them into regions with the aim of achieving reasonable competitive balance, and once complete the March Madness Bracket is set.