The world of college basketball is bracing itself for a three-week frenzy of matches to decide which is the best team in the United States in the tournament that has become known as March Madness.
The NCAA Division One Tournament starts on Tuesday March 15th and here is your complete guide to the competition.
The first NCAA Division One Tournament took place in 1939 when the Oregon Ducks, who had finished their season with a 29-5 record, beat Ohio State in the final.
Eight teams contested the competition that year and the field was extend to 16 in 1951 all the way up to a 64-college event, which was organised for the first time in 1985.
In 2001, the winners of the Mountain West Conference winners were invited and then three more got their ticket in 2011, making a total of 68 teams, the same number as well contest the tournament this year.
CBS broadcaster Brent Musburger used the phrase March Madness to describe the tournament for the first time in 1982 and the term has been synonymous with the event ever since.
The tournament features one-off matches with the winners going through to contest the next round.
The field is made up of 32 conference winners and 36 other teams are given ‘at-large bid’ places by the NCAA selection committee based on their performances during the season.
This process will be conducted on Selection Sunday, at 11pm UK time on 13th March.
That is a big night fans, both diehard and casual, as they will be able to fill in their bracket for competitions run in workplaces, sports clubs and bars.
The First Four games will all the field to be cut from 68 to 64 teams and they will be divided into four quarters of 16 teams and seeded from one to 16.
Each team will then attempt to progress as far as they can with the Championship game taking place in New Orleans on Monday 4th April.
No team have won more March Madness titles than UCLA, who have 11 successes to their name. Ten of those victories came in a 12-year period between 1964 and 1975.
In all, 36 teams have claimed the championship, and Kentucky are next in the list for most wins with eight. North Carolina with six are third, while both Duke and Indiana have won the big prize five times.
Gonzaga Bulldogs were unbeaten when they got to the 2021 final, but they suffered a shock as they were beaten by the Baylor Bears 86-70.
It was the first time Baylor had collected the national title and they became only the second college from Texas to claim the big prize.
They had beaten Houston in their Final Four clash, while Gonzaga’s win over the UCLA Bruins was more dramatic as they needed overtime to come out on top, in the first semi-final to be extended since 1998.
The 68 competing teams will be selected on Sunday 13th March and the First Four matches will be played on 15th-16th March.
The first round games will be on 17th-18th March and the second round will be on 19th-20th March.
The Sweet 16 will be on 24th-25th March and the Elite Eight will be on 26th-27th March.
The Final Four ties will be on 2nd April with the NCAA Championship game on 4th April.
The matches will be held across the country, taking place in Dayton (Ohio), Buffalo (New York), Indianapolis (Indiana), Fort Worth (Texas), Portland (Oregon), Greenville (South Carolina), Milwaukee (Wisconsin) and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania).
San Diego (California), San Antonio (Texas), San Francisco (California), Chicago (Illinois), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) and New Orleans (Louisiana) also host games.
Matches will be available to watch on BT Sport ESPN in the UK and Ireland, with matches flipping to the closing stages of tournaments so viewers can catch all the last-second drama.
Last year’s runners-up Gonzaga are 7/2 to go one better this time while Arizona are 6/1 to take the glory.
Eight-time winners Kentucky, who were last successful in 2012, are 7/1, while Duke - who will be looking to mark the retirement of legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski with a fairytale success - are 10/1 and Baylor are 12/1 to become the first team since Florida in 2007 to successfully defend their title.