NCAA says first round will again refer to Thursday, Friday games

ByC.L. Brown ESPN logo
Thursday, February 11, 2016

The NCAA has eliminated confusion surrounding how the games of its men's basketball tournament's first weekend are referenced.

The first round will again simply mean the round of 64, or the Thursday and Friday games that many still view as the beginning of the tournament.

From 2011 until last season, that first game for 60 teams was called the second round, and the third round determined a berth in the Sweet 16.

"The Thursday-Friday games will be known as first and second rounds, so there's no more, quote-unquote, third round," NCAA spokesman David Worlock said. "So Thursday and Friday is the round of 64, Saturday and Sunday is the round of 32, and then obviously the Sweet 16 and Final Four hasn't been changed."

Since the expansion of the tournament to 68 teams five seasons ago, the Tuesday and Wednesday games played in Dayton, Ohio, were called the opening round. Now those games will simply be called the First Four.

The NCAA tournament selection show is on March 13, and the games begin with the First Four on March 15-16. The Final Four will be played at NRG Stadium in Houston on April 2 and April 4.

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