The NCAA has decided to add a new round to
the NCAA men's basketball tournament next year, when the field
expands to 68 teams.
The men's basketball committee announced its plans Monday to
four early games, with the winners earning their way into the
64-team second round. There has been only one early game since
2001, when the field expanded to 65 teams.
Two of the so-called "First Four" games will match the lowest
seeds, between 65 and 68. The other two games will include the last
four at-large qualifiers.
That should prevent mid-majors from being over-represented in
the first-round games - and it probably means teams from BCS
conferences will be playing for the right to get to the second
The dates and locations for the first-round games will be
announced later. All games will be on Turner Broadcasting's truTV