How March Madness Teams are Chosen

According to, the teams for each year’s March Madness are chosen by a 10-member committee. Members serve five-year terms, and there are no more than two members representing each region of the bracket on the committee at one time.

The committee is only responsible for selecting 34 of the 65 teams, as the other 31 are given automatic bids by being their conferences’ champions. According to this article on, in picking at-large bids the committee looks at, among other things:

  • Record
  • RPI, or a formula the NCAA uses to rank teams based on their winning percentages and their opponent’s winning percentages
  • Strength of Schedule
  • Key Wins/Losses
  • Three polls which rank the teams: The Associated Press Poll, the ESPN/USA poll and a poll run by National Association of Basketball Coaches
© 2010 Jillian Kremer