2021 NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET – PRINTABLE MARCH MADNESS BRACKET

The 2021 NCAA Tournament is here, back for the first time in two years. Below you can find Sporting News’ printable bracket, as well as a full rundown of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, which begins with the First Four on March 18 and ends with the championship game on April 5. This year, the tournament is different — the first round starts on a Friday, and all games are Indiana. You can learn the full details below.

PRINTABLE BRACKET
PRINTABLE BRACKET

WHAT IS A MARCH MADNESS BRACKET?

Tips on winning your March Madness bracket
  1. Your bracket will consist of 64 teams — after completion of the First Four play-in games — divided evenly among the West, Midwest, East and South regions.
  2. The first round will be determined by the NCAA selection committee on a seeding system: A 1-seed (considered the best team in its region), will play a 16-seed (considered the worst), a 2-seed will play a 15-seed, and so on. Pick which team you expect to win the first round and have them advance to the second by writing their name on the ensuing matchup line.
  3. From there, repeat the process until you have predicted the entire tournament throughout the first and second rounds, Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four and NCAA championship game.
  4. Predict the score of the championship game as a final potential tiebreaker with anyone who may have the same score as you by the end of the tournament.
How to make your March Madness bracket work
  • You can use whatever methodology you want to fill out your bracket, but higher seeds are usually favored in their respective matchups, especially in earlier rounds. That doesn’t guarantee victory, however: Upsets happen every year and have been known to bust brackets.
  • Picking one or two early upsets won’t bust your bracket— and could actually score you points — but don’t pick a team to go far in the tournament unless you’re confident in their ability. Otherwise, you could potentially cost yourself a higher score.
  • Your bracket can be altered as much as you want before the tournament starts; once play has begun, however, it is locked in. Make sure you feel comfortable with your bracket before you submit it — and don’t leave it incomplete!

HOW DO I SCORE THE BRACKET?

How to make your March Madness bracket work
  • The most common scoring method features one point for every correct prediction in the first round; two points for every prediction in the second round; four points for the Sweet 16; eight points for the Elite Eight; 16 points for the Final Four; and 32 points for picking the NCAA champion.
  • This scoring method places greater weight on correct predictions further into the tournament. For example, simply predicting the correct NCAA Tournament champion is worth as many points for your bracket (32) as a perfect first round. Keep this in mind as you make your picks.
  • First Four games are not typically used in scoring, which begins in Round 1. An incorrect prediction in any of the First Four play-in games will not result in penalties or lost points.

WHEN DO MARCH MADNESS BRACKETS COME OUT?

When do March Madness brackets come out?

The March Madness bracket will be released on Sunday, March 14. It will feature 60 locked-in teams and four empty spaces. The teams that fill those spaces will be determined by First Four games, and the final 64-team bracket will not be set until the day before the NCAA Tournament proper begins.

When are March Madness brackets due?

Brackets are locked in once play begins during Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament at noon ET on Friday, March 19.

MARCH MADNESS

Selection Sunday

Selection Sunday is on March 14, and the selection show will be broadcast on CBS at 6 p.m. ET. The brackets will be revealed shortly thereafter or, if conference championship games are still ongoing, as soon as the final automatic qualifier is determined.

First Four

The initial bracket released on Selection Sunday includes 60 locked-in teams and four empty spaces, to be determined among eight teams — the four lowest-seeded automatic bids and the four lowest-seeded at-large bids — competing in the First Four play-in games. The winners of these four games will take up the final four available spots and complete the field of 64.

This year, the First Four matchups will be held on Thursday, March 18, in West Lafayette and Bloomington, Ind.

NCAA Tournament Round 1

Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament consists of 32 games played between 64 teams over the course of two days (Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20). Games will be played across the following arenas:

  • Mackey Arena (West Lafayette)
  • Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (Bloomington)
  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
  • Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
  • Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis)
  • Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
NCAA Tournament Round 2

Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament consists of 16 games played between 32 teams over the course of two days (Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22). Below are the following sites for the second round:

  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
  • Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
  • Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis)
  • Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
Sweet 16

The Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament consists of eight games played between 16 teams over the course of two days (Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28).

Below are the following sites for each of the four regionals, comprised of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds:

  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
  • Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
Elite 8

The Elite Eight serves as the national quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament, consisting of four games played between eight teams over the course of two days (Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30). All games will be played at one site:

  • Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)
Final Four

The Final Four serves as the national semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament, consisting of two games played between four teams on Saturday, April 3. This year, the Final Four will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

NCAA championship game

The NCAA championship game, the final game of the 2020-21 college basketball season, will be played on Monday, April 5 to determine the champion of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. It will be held in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

Year Champion Score Runner-up
2019 Virginia (35-3) 85-77 (OT) Texas Tech
2018 Villanova (36-4) 79-62 Michigan
2017 North Carolina (33-7) 71-65 Gonzaga
2016 Villanova (35-5) 77-74 North Carolina
2015 Duke (35-4) 68-63 Wisconsin
2014 Connecticut (32-8) 60-54 Kentucky
2013 Louisville (35-5)* 82-76 Michigan
2012 Kentucky (38-2) 67-59 Kansas
2011 Connecticut (32-9) 85-77 (OT) Michigan
2010 Duke (35-5) 61-59 Butler
Year Champion Score Runner-up
2009 North Carolina (34-4) 89-72 Michigan State
2008 Kansas (37-3) 75-68 (OT) Memphis
2007 Florida (35-5) 84-75 Ohio State
2006 Florida (33-6) 73-57 UCLA
2005 North Carolina (33-4) 75-70 Illinois
2004 Connecticut (33-6) 82-73 Georgia Tech
2003 Syracuse (30-5) 81-78 Kansas
2002 Maryland (32-4) 64-52 Indiana
2001 Duke (35-4) 82-72 Arizona
2000 Michigan State (32-7) 89-76 Florida

* Louisville’s championship in the 2013 tournament was vacated by the NCAA.

  • 2019-2000
  • 1999-1980
  • 1979 -1960
  • 1959-1940

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