March Madness 2019: Bracket Release Dates for Men, Women Tournaments

Jake RillContributor IIIMarch 12, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 11:  Rui Hachimura #21 and Corey Kispert #24 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrate during a semifinal game of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament against the Pepperdine Waves at the Orleans Arena on March 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bulldogs defeated the Waves 100-74.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

March is the best month for college basketball fans, and things are really about to pick up with the NCAA tournaments for both men and women less than two weeks away.

By Monday night, the brackets will have been revealed for both the men's and women's tournaments. The men's tournament begins with the First Four round on March 19, while the women's tournament gets underway on March 22.

But before that, men's and women's conference tournaments will continue to take place this week with automatic bids for the NCAA tourney on the line, so there's still plenty to be decided.

  

NCAA Tournament Selection Shows Information

Men

Date: Sunday, March 17

Time: 6 p.m. ET

TV: CBS

Women

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 7 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Both selection shows will be streamed live on NCAA.com.

   

Men's Early Contenders

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - MARCH 09: De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers grabs a loose ball away from Jordan Nwora #33 of the Louisville Cardinals in the second half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on March 9, 2019 in Charlottesville, Virginia
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The ACC is poised to have a strong showing this year, with three of the top five teams in the current AP Top 25 poll coming from the conference. Virginia, North Carolina and Duke are all among the early favorites for this year's NCAA tournament.

But there are also strong teams from other conferences, including Gonzaga, the No. 1 team in the country, and Kentucky, the highest-ranked team from the SEC.

ESPN's Joe Lunardi currently has Virginia, North Carolina, Gonzaga and Kentucky as the No. 1 seeds in his latest version of Bracketology.

However, there are frequently lower-seeded teams that make Cinderella runs in the NCAA tournament, such as last year when No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago advanced to the Final Four. So while these teams are considered early favorites, anything can happen once March Madness gets underway.

   

Women's Early Contenders

WACO, TX - DECEMBER 18: Odyssey Sims #0 of the Baylor Bears looks on against the Mississippi Lady Rebels on December 18, 2013 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

There are four clear favorites on the women's side, and each has already clinched its berth in the NCAA tournament by winning its conference tournament—UConn (AAC), Notre Dame (ACC), Baylor (Big 12) and Mississippi State (SEC).

Those teams are the top four in the AP Top 25 poll, with Baylor leading the way with a 30-1 record. And they will be the No. 1 seeds when the bracket is revealed on Monday.

Last year, all four No. 1 seeds made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament, and three of this year's top four teams (all but Baylor) were there. Notre Dame beat Mississippi State in the championship game last season.

Expect to see another year where the No. 1 seeds dominate the tournament, and it wouldn't be surprising for all four to again reach the Final Four.

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