Every college basketball team begins the season hoping to hear its name called on Selection Sunday to participate in March Madness.
Some teams have already punched their ticket to the tournament with strong regular-season performances or by winning their respective conference tournaments, while others are in need of a strong finish to find their name on the bracket come Sunday night.
As teams look to punch their ticket to this year’s NCAA Tournament, the top players in the country are looking to showcase their talent on the March Madness stage ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft.
Here’s everything that you need to know to get ready for the next few days.
When is Selection Sunday 2021?
Date: Sunday, March 14
Time: 6 p.m. ET
Selection Sunday will take place on March 14. The bracket reveal is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET.
The 68-team field, which side of the bracket that team will play on and the date and time of their first round game will be announced during the show.
How do I watch the March Madness bracket reveal?
TV channel: CBS
The Selection Sunday show will air live on CBS. It can also be streamed on the NCAA March Madness Live website or app as well as through FuboTV (which offers a free seven-day trial).
How does a team punch its ticket to March Madness?
The 68-team field is made up of automatic bids and at-large selections. Teams that win their conference tournament are considered automatic qualifiers. This season, there are just 31 automatic bids because the Ivy League canceled its 2020-21 men's and women's basketball seasons.
That leaves the NCAA selection committee with 37 at-large bids to hand out this season. There is no exact formula for how the at-large bids are chosen, but there are several factors that play into which teams are selected.
Each team’s strength of schedule, conference tournament performance and wins against other top-tier opponents will all be taken into consideration.
As the 37 at-large bids are decided, there surely will be some controversy about which seed certain teams receive and which teams are left out of the field altogether.
That’s just another reason why it's called March Madness.
Who has already punched their ticket?
There are several teams that have already punched their ticket to the field of 68 by winning their conference tournaments.
Those teams include: Liberty (Atlantic Sun), Winthrop (Big South), Drexel (Colonial), Cleveland State (Horizon), Loyola-Chicago (Missouri Valley), Mount St. Mary’s (Northeast), Morehead State (Ohio Valley), UNC Greensboro (Southern), Oral Roberts (Summit), Appalachian State (Sun Belt), Gonzaga (West Coast).
Other teams like Michigan, Illinois and Baylor will have the opportunity to win their conference tournaments, but their regular-season résumés will be enough for them to get an at-large bid if they don’t win the tournament.
Who are some of the bubble teams?
Entering the conference tournaments, there are several teams that are on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament and could improve their resume.
Rutgers and Purdue are in line for at-large bids in the Big Ten, which leaves Michigan State and Maryland on the bubble entering the Big Ten tournament.
A strong showing in the tournament could help the Terrapins -- who are 15-12 and led by guards Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala -- earn one of the 37 at-large bids.
Ziaire Williams and Stanford find themselves on the bubble heading into the Pac-12 Tournament. The conference doesn’t have many top-tier teams this year, but the top prospect could help get his team into the Big Dance by making a run in Las Vegas this weekend.
Oregon and USC are the conference’s top teams, but if they stumble, Williams and the Cardinal could take advantage.
In the ACC Tournament, Syracuse looks to play its way off the bubble. Virginia, the defending national champions, finished first in the ACC during the regular season and face the Orange Thursday afternoon.
Senior guard Collin Gillespie is out for the season for Villanova, and sophomore guard Justin Moore is doubtful for this week’s Big East Tournament with an ankle sprain. That could allow a bubble team like St. John’s or Seton Hall to make a deep conference tournament run and solidify its resume.
As more automatic bids are decided, the bubble will burst for some teams before Selection Sunday.
What's the March Madness 2021 schedule?
The First Four is set to begin on Thursday, March 18.
The tournament’s first and second rounds will take place between Friday, March 19, and Monday, March 22.
That will be followed by the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight the following week. The Sweet Sixteen will be played on March 27 and 28, while the Elite Eight will occur on March 29 and 30.
The Final Four will take place on Saturday, April 3, culminating in the 2021 NCAA Championship Game, which will take place on Monday, April 5.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, each game in this year’s NCAA Tournament will be held in Indiana around Indianapolis. The games will be played at Mackey Arena (West Lafayette), Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (Bloomington), Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis), Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis), Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis) and Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis).
Can fans buy March Madness tickets to attend the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?
The NCAA announced in February that it would allow 25 percent capacity at games during March Madness 2021. The percentage of fans allowed in attendance includes players, coaches, and family members of players and coaches.
Peter Dewey, Logan Reardon and Max Molski contributed to this story