The First Four is a series of four early March Madness games played on Tuesday and Wednesday, prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64 on Thursday.
In that way, the First Four is a bit like a light appetizer, served before the sprawling six-course meal that is the full March Madness slate.
A whopping 68 teams are chosen for the modern NCAA Tournament, and before Thursday’s round of 64 can begin, the field has to be whittled down from 68 teams to 64.
To do that, two games are played on Tuesday night. Two more games are played on Wednesday night. The winners of all four games advance to the round of 64; the losers go home.
All eight teams involved in the First Four games are technically considered NCAA Tournament teams, even if the official first round doesn’t start until Thursday.
Read More: First Four Predictions: How I’m Betting the Opening Tournament Games
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