The 2023 NCAA Tournament produced one of the biggest upset in the history of the event when 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson stunned 1-seed Purdue in the first round.
Despite the typical reliance on rankings as reliable indicators of success, 2023 didn’t go as it may have.
Not a single top-ranked team managed to reach the final, semifinal, or even the quarterfinals! Madness!
The championship showdown unfolded as an electrifying contest pitting the University of Connecticut against San Diego State.
During the March Madness Men’s Tournament, Lamont Butler of San Diego State etched his name into history with a buzzer-beating shot in the semifinals, securing his team’s inaugural NCAA final berth. Meanwhile, Uconn’s squad secured their place in the championship by dominating their semifinal opponent, winning by a commanding 13-point margin.
Ultimately, Uconn clinched their fifth national title with an authoritative 76-59 victory🏆.
March Madness 2024 Betting
NCAA Basketball Championship Playoffs – How It Works
The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids) and 36 teams of “at-large” berths. An NCAA selection committee chooses the “at-large” on Selection Sunday.
By using a seeding system, the 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination “bracket” this bracket determines which winning teams will face each other next.
The First Four are games between the four lowest-ranked at-large teams and the four lowest-ranked automatic-bid (conference-champion) teams.
First and Second Rounds
The NCAA Championship is a straight knockout tournament at this stage. The First Round of 64 sees the No. 1 seed play the No. 16 seed in all four regions (the No. 2 team plays the No. 15, etc).
There are 16 first-round games played on the Thursday following the “First Four” round. The remaining sixteen first-round games are played on the Friday. At this point, the contestants are reduced to 32 teams.
The Second Round of 32 is played on the Saturday and Sunday immediately after the first round. The second round features the previous Thursday’s winners playing in eight games on the Saturday, followed by Friday’s winners playing in the remaining eight second-round games on the Sunday.
Regional Semifinals and Finals
Once the first weekend’s games have been completed, 16 teams remain (commonly known as the “Sweet Sixteen”).
The teams advance to the regional semifinals (the ‘Sweet Sixteen’) and finals (the ‘Elite Eight’), which are played during the second weekend of the tournament (the games are again split into Thursday/Saturday and Friday/Sunday).
Four regional semi-final games are played Thursday and four are played Friday. After Friday’s games, eight teams (the Elite Eight) remain.
Saturday features two regional final games with Thursday’s winning teams and Sunday’s two final games feature Friday’s winners.
After the second weekend of the tournament, the four regional champions are the “Final Four.”
National Semifinals and Championship
The winners of each region advance to the Final Four, where the national semifinals are played on Saturday and the national championship is played on Monday.
The term ‘Final Four’ refers to the last four teams remaining in the playoff tournament. These are the champions of the tournament’s four regional brackets, and are the only teams remaining on the tournament’s final weekend.
Which regional champion will play which, and in which semifinal they play, is determined by the overall rankings of the four No. 1 seeds in the original bracket.
NCAA Championship Winners (Losing finalists)
- 2010-11 – Connecticut Huskies (Butler Bulldogs)
- 2011-12 – Kentucky Wildcats (Kansas Jayhawks)
- 2012-13 – Louisville Cardinals* (Michigan Wolverines)
- 2013-14 – Connecticut Huskies (Kentucky Wildcats)
- 2014-15 – Duke Blue Devils (Wisconsin Badgers)
- 2015-16 – Villanova Wildcats (North Carolina Rae Heels)
- 2016-17 – North Carolina Tar Heels (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
- 2017-18 – Villanova Wildcats (Michigan Wolverines)
- 2018-19 – Virginia Cavaliers (Texas Tech Red Raiders)
- 2019-20 – Not held because of the Covid-19 pandemic
- 2020-21 – Baylor Bears (Gonzaga Bulldogs)
- 2021-22 – Kansas City Jayhawks (North Carolina Tar Heels)
- 2022-23 – University of Connecticut (San Diego State)
*The NCAA vacated Louisville’s entire tournament run, including its national title, due to multiple recruiting violations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Teams have Won The Most NCAAB Division I Titles?
- UCLA – 11 (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1995)
- Wildcats – 8 (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012)
- North Carolina Tar Heels – 6 (1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009, 2017)
- Duke Blue Devils – 5 (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)
- Indiana Hoosiers – 5 (1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987)
What are College Basketball Futures?
A College Basketball Futures bet is simply a wager on a NCAA basketball event that will happen at a later date.
It’s possible to wager on a NCAA basketball futures market at any time. Sportsbooks will adjust the odds throughout the season depending on results and other relevant news such as injuries to key players.
When does the College Basketball season normally begin?
The NCAA Division I men's basketball season begins around November time and culminates with March Madness which unsurprisingly begins in March and ends in early April.
What is the College Basketball season format?
To qualify for March Madness, a NCAA Division I college basketball team must either win its conference tournament or receive an “at-large” bid from the NCAA tournament selection committee.
March Madness is more correctly known as the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament and features 68 college teams.
The season format then proceeds as follows:
- First Four – the First Four are games between the four lowest-ranked at-large teams and the four lowest-ranked automatic-bid (conference-champion) teams.
- First and Second Rounds – the NCAA Championship is a straight knockout tournament at this stage. The First Round of 64 sees the No. 1 seed play the No. 16 seed in all four regions (the No. 2 team plays the No. 15, etc).
- Regional Semifinals and Finals - 16 teams remain (commonly known as the "Sweet Sixteen"). The teams advance to the regional semifinals (the Sweet Sixteen) and finals (the Elite Eight). The four regional champions are the "Final Four."
- National Semifinals and Championship - The winners of each region advance to the Final Four. Which regional champion will play which, and in which semifinal they play, is determined by the overall rankings of the four No. 1 seeds in the original bracket. These are the champions of the tournament's four regional brackets, and are the only teams remaining on the tournament's final weekend.
What’s the best betting advice & strategies for NCAA basketball futures betting?
As online sportsbooks always want to attract new customers, they give you sign-up bonuses of free betting credits for making a deposit. These provide you with risk-free NCAA basketball wagers.
As with all sports, research is crucial when betting on college basketball. Look at coaches with a long history of success, teams that have retained players from previous seasons, and colleges that have performed well in recent seasons to help you make more informed decisions.
Player injuries, suspensions, coaching tweaks, the state of play in the tournament, and any changes in schedule are all factors that should be taken into account when betting on NCAA basketball.
What futures bets are available on the NCAA College Basketball?
The most popular futures bet to wager on is the overall winners of the NCAA Championship. Other markets to look at are the regional options – who will win the West Region, Midwest Region, South Region and East Region.
There are also a number of NCAA College Basketball Prop bets available, such as March Madness Seed Props, Conference Props and Player Props.
Who won the 2023 NCAA Basketball Championship?
Uconn clinched their fifth national title with an authoritative 76-59 victory over San Diego State.