Good news basketball fans — you don’t have to wait long for the 2022 NCAA tournament bracket to be revealed.
This year’s NCAA selection show will air live on CBS, and the network plans to reveal the full 68-team bracket by region shortly after the show begins at 6 p.m.
Following its full release, host Greg Gumbel will discuss the bracket with selection committee chair Tom Burnett. CBS Sports analysts Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis will also join the show to break down the bracket. Thankfully, the days of Charles Barkley fumbling around on a touchscreen or Ernie Johnson awkwardly attempting to sell pizzas are a distant memory, as is the two-hour “expanded” show sports fans hated a few years go.
For the 11th year, CBS is partnering with Turner Sports to cover the men’s basketball tournament, with TBS airing both the Final Four and the championship game this time around. It will also be the first tournament since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic where everything, for lack of a better term, seems normal.
“Last year was tough. We were in the bubble,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said on a recent conference call. “It’s going to feel good to get back to some degree of normalcy and to have our regular casts, both in the New York studios and the Atlanta studios.”
Villanova officially secured its March Madness spot by winning the Big East Tournament on Saturday. For the Wildcats, it will be their 40th NCAA Tournament appearance, and the 15th during the tenure of head coach Jay Wright, who led the school to two national championships in 2016 and 2018.
Villanova hopes to be seeded in the East, where the regional will be played at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly.
Another local entry to this year’s tournament is the University of Delaware, which punched its ticket to the big dance by defeating UNC-Wilmington last week to win the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. It’s the first time the Fighting Blue Hens have made it into the tournament since 2014, and just the second CAA title Delaware has won in its 21 years in the league.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream:
What time does the NCAA selection show start?
The 2022 NCAA selection show is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Eastern, and will air live on TNT.
The selection show will stream live on Paramount+, though a subscription is required. It will also be available to stream on NCAA March Madness Live, the NCAA’s official livestreaming product, which also requires cable authentication but does offer a free preview.
The show can also be streamed on a host of services, including FuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, DirecTV Stream, Sling TV, or YouTube TV.
The NCAA women’s tournament bracket will be revealed live on ESPN and ESPN2 during the NCAA women’s basketball selection special, which airs at 8 p.m. The show will be hosted by Elle Duncan, who will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck, and Nikki Fargas. ESPN reporter Holly Rowe and bracketologist Charlie Creme will also join the broadcast.
Fans clamoring for more bracket coverage can tune to CBS Sports Network, which will offer three hours of bracket coverage beginning at 7 p.m. Chris Reynolds, a member of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee and 2023 committee chair, will be on hand to discuss the selection process and seeding.
Over on ESPN, a breakdown of both the men’s and women’s basketball tournament brackets begins at 10 p.m. with Bracketology – Field of 136, hosted by Zubin Mehenti along with Dalen Cuff, Sean Farnham, Rebecca Lobo, and Carolyn Peck.
How teams are selected for the tournament
Teams can make it into the men’s NCAA tournament two ways — an automatic bid and an at-large bid.
Thirty-two teams receive automatic bids by winning their Division I conference tournament. Several conferences will hold their championship games Sunday.
The remaining 36 teams are picked by a 10-member selection committee after every conference tournament game has been played. Since 2019, the committee has used the NCAA Evaluation Tool as their primary tool in evaluating whether teams deserve a spot.
2022 NCAA men’s tournament schedule
First Four: Tuesday, March 15
The NCAA tournament tips off on Tuesday with the First Four, four play-in games between the four lowest-seeded automatic bids and the four lowest-seeded at-large bids.
The games — which take place once again at the the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio — will air on TruTV Tuesday and Wednesday, with coverage beginning at 6 p.m.
First Round: Thursday, March 17
The first round begins Thursday and will feature 32 games airing on CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV over two days.
The first and second rounds will be played at eight regional sites — Buffalo, N.Y.; Indianapolis; Fort Worth, Texas; Portland, Ore.; Greenville, S.C.; Milwaukee; Pittsburgh; and San Diego.
Second Round: Saturday, March 19
The tournament’s second round begins Saturday and will feature 16 games over two days airing on CBS, TNT, TBS, and TruTV.
Sweet 16: Thursday, March 24
The Sweet 16 tips off Thursday, March 24, and will feature eight primetime games played across two days on CBS and TBS.
Both the Sweet 16 and the Elite 8 will be played at four regional sites:
East Regional: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
West Regional: Chase Center, San Francisco
Midwest Regional: United Center, Chicago
South Regional: AT&T Center, San Antonio
Elite 8: Saturday, March 26
The Elite Eight gets underway Saturday, March 26, and features four games split by CBS and TBS.
Final Four: Saturday, April 2
The tournament moves to New Orleans for the Final Four, which will air on TBS from U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, April 2. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, and reporter Tracy Wolfson will call the Final Four and the national championship game for the seventh consecutive year.
Championship Game: Monday, April 4
This year’s national championship game will tip off on TBS at 9 p.m.