March Madness: When Does The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Start And End?

Written By Matt Burke on March 22, 2023
When does March Madness start

The calendar has flipped to March but the Madness has not arrived just yet. Most college basketball teams are wrapping up their regular seasons and some conference tournaments are already underway. So when will the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament begin? When does March Madness start in earnest? We will answer that question below and also deliver information on the ways you can bet on this year’s Big Dance.

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When does March Madness start this year?

The anticipation is building for the best sports tournament on the American calendar. So when does March Madness start this year?

March Madness will start on Tuesday, March 14

The 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament will technically start on Tuesday, March 14 with the First Four. March Madness in its traditional form with a full day of games will begin on Thursday, March 16. The second full day of March Madness is St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, March 17. The round of 32 will take place that weekend, on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26.

Here are the key dates for when will March Madness start this year.

  • Sunday, March 12: Selection Sunday
  • Tuesday, March 14: First Four 
  • Wednesday March 15: First Four
  • Thursday, March 16: First full day of games
  • Friday, March 17: Second full day of games

For Day 1 of the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, games will start at 12:15 p.m. ET. Sixteen games will be played on the first full day of the tourney.

There will be sixteen more games played on the second full day of the tournament on Friday, March 17. The first game in that batch of contests will also begin at 12:15 p.m. ET.

The tipoff time of the last game on each of those first full days is set for 9:57 p.m. ET.

When does March Madness end?

March Madness trickles into April each year as the Final Four takes place. Final Four Saturday will take place on April 1 this year. The college basketball National Championship game will be on Monday, April 3. So March Madness will technically end on the night of April 3.

College basketball tournament betting

The Madness has not started yet but you can already bet on the winner of this year’s NCAA basketball tournament. Find NCAA tournament odds below. Click the middle tab at the top that currently reads “To Win National Championship” to find more college basketball futures odds.

Matt Burke Avatar
Written by
Matt Burke

Matt Burke is the Sports Editor and Head of Evergreen/SEO Content at He is the Founder and former Editor-in-Chief of MetroBet, a digital and print sports betting platform, and was the Executive Sports Editor at Metro US Newspapers (New York, Philadelphia, Boston) from 2014-2020. Matt has covered Super Bowls and Final Fours, and his work has appeared for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, the Eagle Tribune, Gloucester Daily Times and Newburyport Daily News. Matt is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

View all posts by Matt Burke