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When does March Madness start - NCAA basketball tournament?

A look at which dates in 2018 that you will need to play hooky
When, does, March Madness, start, NCAA, basketball, tournament
Grayson Allen and Duke are still jockeying for a number one seed in the NCAA tournament. Getty Images

March is finally here, which means that the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament is right around the corner.

Selection Sunday for the tournament will take place on Sunday, March 11 and will be broadcast live on national TV on TBS, starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

The “First Four” games of March Madness will take place on Tuesday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 14 but the traditional first “full day” of the tourney (i.e. your top option to play hooky) will take place on Thursday, March 15.

The second and last “full day” of the tourney will take place on Friday, March 16 (i.e. your second option to play hooky). Once the field is cut in half, the rapid-fire excitement of games ending around the same time ends with it. So to get your full “Madness” fix, be sure to carve out 12 hours on both the 15th and 16th of this year.

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, and the day will coincide with field of 32 action. By the end of Sunday night, the 18th, the field will be cut to 16 teams.

The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight rounds of the tournament will take place from Thursday, March 22 through Sunday, March 25.

Final Four Saturday will take place on March 31, with the National Championship game in San Antonio set for Monday, April 2.

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