NCAA Division I (D-I) is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.
This level was once called the University Division of the NCAA, in contrast to the lower level College Division; these terms were replaced with numeric divisions in 1973. The University Division was renamed Division I, while the College Division was split in two; the College Division members that offered scholarships or wanted to compete against those who did became Division II, while those who did not want to offer scholarships became Division III.
For the 2014-15 school year, Division I contained 345 of the NCAA's 1,066 member institutions, with 125 in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), 125 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), and 95 non-football schools, with six additional schools in the transition from Division II to Division I. There was a moratorium on any additional movement up to D-I until 2012, after which any school that wants to move to D-I must be accepted for membership by a conference and show the NCAA it has the financial ability to support a D-I program.
Schools must field teams in at least seven sports for men and seven for women or six for men and eight for women, with at least two team sports for each gender. Teams that include both men and women are counted as men's sports for the purposes of sponsorship counting. Division I schools must meet minimum financial aid awards for their athletics program, and there are maximum financial aid awards for each sport that a Division I school cannot exceed. Several other NCAA sanctioned minimums and differences distinguish Division I from Divisions II and III. Members must sponsor at least one sport (not necessarily a team sport though) for each sex in each playing season (fall, winter, spring), again with coeducational teams counted as men's teams for this purpose. There are contest and participant minimums for each sport, as well as scheduling criteria. For sports other than football and basketball, Division I schools must play 100 percent of the minimum number of contests against Division I opponents—anything over the minimum number of games has to be 50 percent Division I. Men's and women's basketball teams have to play all but two games against Division I teams; for men, they must play one-third of all their contests in the home arena.
In addition to the schools that compete fully as D-I institutions, the NCAA allows D-II and D-III schools to classify one men's and one women's sport (other than football or basketball) as a D-I sport, as long as they sponsored those sports before the latest rules change in 2011. Also, Division II schools are eligible to compete for Division I national championships in sports that do not have a Division II national championship, and in those sports may also operate under D-I rules and scholarship limits.
For football only, Division I was further subdivided in 1978 into Division I-A (the principal football schools), Division I-AA (the other schools with football teams), and Division I (those schools not sponsoring football). In 2006, Division I-A and I-AA were renamed "Football Bowl Subdivision" (FBS) and "Football Championship Subdivision" (FCS), respectively.
FBS teams are allowed a maximum of 85 players receiving athletically based aid per year, with each player allowed to receive up to a full scholarship. FCS teams have the same 85-player limit as FBS teams, but are allowed to give aid equivalent to only 63 full scholarships. FCS teams are allowed to award partial scholarships, a practice technically allowed but essentially never used at the FBS level. FBS teams also have to meet minimum game attendance requirements (average 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game), while FCS teams do not need to meet minimum attendance requirements.
Another difference is postseason play. Since 1978, FCS teams have played in an NCAA-sanctioned bracket tournament culminating in a title game, the NCAA Division I Football Championship, to determine a national champion. Meanwhile, FBS teams play in bowl games, with various polls ranking teams after the conclusion of these games, yielding a Consensus National Champion annually since 1950. Starting with the 2014 postseason, a four-team College Football Playoff has been contested, replacing a one-game championship format that had started during the 1992 postseason with the Bowl Coalition. Even so, Division I FBS football remains the only NCAA sport in which a yearly champion is not determined by an NCAA-sanctioned championship event.
Division I athletic programs generated $8.7 billion in revenue in the 2009–2010 academic year. Men's teams provided 55%, women's teams 15%, and 30% was not categorized by sex or sport. Football and men's basketball are usually a university's only profitable sports, and are called "revenue sports". From 2008 to 2012, 205 varsity teams were dropped in NCAA Division I – 72 for women and 133 for men, with men's tennis, gymnastics and wrestling hit particularly hard.
In the Football Bowl Subdivision (130 schools in 2017), between 50 and 60 percent of football and men's basketball programs generated positive revenues (above program expenses). However, in the Football Championship Subdivision (124 schools in 2017), only four percent of football and five percent of men's basketball programs generated positive revenues.
In 2012, 2% of athletic budgets were spent on equipment, uniforms and supplies for male athletes at NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school, with the median spending per-school at $742,000.
In 2014, the NCAA and the student athletes debated whether student athletes should be paid. In April, the NCAA approved students-athletes getting free unlimited meals and snacks. The NCAA stated "The adoption of the meals legislation finished a conversation that began in the Awards, Benefits, Expenses and Financial Aid Cabinet. Members have worked to find appropriate ways to ensure student-athletes get the nutrition they need without jeopardizing Pell Grants or other federal aid received by the neediest student-athletes. With their vote, members of the council said they believe loosening NCAA rules on what and when food can be provided from athletics departments is the best way to address the issue." 
Under NCAA regulations, all Division I conferences defined as "multisport conferences" must meet the following criteria:
FBS conferences must meet a more stringent set of requirements for NCAA recognition than other conferences:
|American Athletic Conference||The American||1979 [a]||12 [b][c]||22||Providence, Rhode Island||55||37||18||0|
|Atlantic Coast Conference **||ACC||1953||15 [d]||27||Greensboro, North Carolina||150||87||58||5|
|Big Ten Conference **||Big Ten||1896||14 [e]||28||Rosemont, Illinois||317||229||72||16|
|Big 12 Conference **||Big 12||1996||10 [f]||21||Irving, Texas||166|
|Conference USA||C-USA||1995[g]||14 [h]||19||Irving, Texas|
|Division I FBS Independents[i]||6|
|Mid-American Conference||MAC||1946||12[j]||23||Cleveland, Ohio|
|Mountain West Conference||MW, MWC||1999||11[k][l]||19||Colorado Springs, Colorado||21||13||5||3|
|Pac-12 Conference **||Pac-12||1915[m]||12[n]||24||Walnut Creek, California||501||309||174||18|
|Southeastern Conference **||SEC||1932||14||20||Birmingham, Alabama||223||118||104||1|
|Sun Belt Conference||Sun Belt||1976||12[o][p]||18||New Orleans, Louisiana||12||12||0||0|
|Big Sky Conference||Big Sky||1963||12||16||Ogden, Utah|
|Big South Conference||Big South||1983||10||19||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Colonial Athletic Association||CAA||1979||10||21||Richmond, Virginia|
|Ivy League +||1954||8||33||Princeton, New Jersey|
|Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference ++||MEAC||1970||13||16||Norfolk, Virginia|
|Missouri Valley Football Conference||MVFC||1982||10||1||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Northeast Conference||NEC||1981||10||22||Somerset, New Jersey|
|Ohio Valley Conference||OVC||1948||12||18||Brentwood, Tennessee|
|Patriot League||1986||10||24||Center Valley, Pennsylvania|
|Pioneer Football League||PFL||1991||11||1||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Southern Conference||SoCon||1921||10||20||Spartanburg, South Carolina|
|Southland Conference||Southland||1963||11||17||Frisco, Texas|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference %||SWAC||1920||10||18||Birmingham, Alabama|
+ The Ivy League abstains from the championship tournament and all postseason play.
++ The MEAC Champion, since 2015, forgoes its automatic bid to allow its champion to participate in the Celebration Bowl. Non-champions are eligible for at-large bids (an example being the 2016 North Carolina A&T Aggies football team).
% The SWAC abstains from the championship tournament to allow for a longer regular season, an in-conference championship game (until 2017), and (since 2015) participation in the Celebration Bowl. Beginning 2018, the SWAC will discontinue its championship game and send its regular season champion to the Celebration Bowl, freeing up the conference's second-place finisher (if it is not Grambling State, Alabama State or Southern) to accept an at-large bid.
(128 FBS, 124 FCS)
(10 FBS, 13 FCS)
|4||Soccer||204||23||9.9||Fall||St. Louis (10)|
|5||Wrestling||75||7||9.9||Winter||Oklahoma State (34)|
|6||Ice Hockey||60||6||18.0||Winter||Michigan (9)|
|9||Water Polo||22||4||4.5||Fall||California (13)|
Sports are ranked according to total possible scholarships (number of teams x number of scholarships per team). Scholarship numbers for head-count sports are indicated without a decimal point. Numbers for equivalency sports are indicated with a decimal point, with a trailing zero if needed.
The following table lists the men's individual DI sports with at least 1,000 participating athletes. Sports are ranked by number of athletes.
|No.||Sport||Teams (2015)||Teams (1982)||Change||Athletes||Season|
|4||Swimming & diving||134||181||–47||3,839||Winter|
DI college wrestling has lost almost half of its programs since 1982.
|2||Soccer||333||31||14.0||Fall||North Carolina (21)|
|3||Volleyball||334||32||12*||Fall||Penn State, Stanford (7)|
|7||Field Hockey||78||10||12.0||Fall||Old Dominion (9)|
|8||Ice Hockey||40||4||18.0||Winter||Minnesota (6)|
|9||Beach Volleyball||47||5||6.0*||Spring||USC (2)|
|10||Water Polo||34||6||8.0||Spring||UCLA (7)|
The following table lists the women's individual DI sports with at least 1,000 participating athletes. Sports are ranked by number of athletes.
|No.||Sport||Teams (2015)||Teams (1982)||Change||Athletes||Season|
|4||Swimming & diving||195||161||+34||5,393||Winter|
NCAA Division I schools have broadcasting contracts that showcase their more popular sports — typically football and men's basketball — on network television and in basic cable channels. These contracts can be quite lucrative, particularly for DI schools from the biggest conferences. For example, the Big Ten conference in 2016 entered into contracts with Fox and ESPN that pay the conference $2.64 billion over six years.
The NCAA also holds certain TV contracts. For example, the NCAA's contract to show the men's basketball championship tournament (widely known as March Madness) is currently under a 14-year deal with CBS and Turner that runs from 2010 to 2024 and pays $11 billion.
For the 2014–15 fiscal year, the conferences that earned the most revenues (and that distributed the most revenues to each of their member schools) were:
|Sports rights||Sport||National TV contract||Total Revenues
|NCAA March Madness||Basketball||CBS, Turner||$8.8bn ($1.1bn)|
|College Football Playoff||Football||ESPN||$5.6bn ($470m)|
|Pac-12 Conference||All||Fox, ESPN||$3.0bn ($250m)|
|Big Ten Conference (Big Ten/B1G)||All||Fox, ESPN, CBS||$2.6bn ($440m)|||
|Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)||All||ESPN||$3.6bn ($240m)|
|Big 12 Conference||All||Fox, ESPN||$2.6bn ($200m)|
|Southeastern Conference (SEC)||All||CBS, ESPN||$2.6bn ($205m)|
|American Athletic Conference||All||ESPN||$910m ($130m)|
|Mountain West Conference||All||CBS, ESPN||$116m ($18m)|||
|Mid-American Conference (MAC)||All||ESPN||$100m ($8m)|||
The NCAA has limits on the total financial aid each Division I member may award in each sport that the school sponsors. It divides sports that are sponsored into two types for purposes of scholarship limitations:
The term "counter" is also key to this concept. The NCAA defines a "counter" as "an individual who is receiving institutional financial aid that is countable against the aid limitations in a sport."
The number of scholarships that Division I members may award in each sport is listed below. In this table, scholarship numbers for head-count sports are indicated without a decimal point; for equivalency sports, they are listed with a decimal point, with a trailing zero if required.
|Cross-country/track & field|
63.0 (FCS)[nb 6]
|Swimming and diving|
The NCAA also has rules specifying the sport in which multi-sport athletes are to be counted, with the basic rules being:
Subdivisions in Division I exist only in football. In all other sports, all Division I conferences are equivalent. The subdivisions were recently given names to reflect the differing levels of football play in them.
The method by which the NCAA determines whether a school is Bowl or Championship subdivision is first by attendance numbers and then by scholarships. For attendance reporting methods, the NCAA allows schools to report either total tickets sold or the number of persons in attendance at the games. They require a minimum average of 15,000 people in attendance every other year. These numbers get posted to the NCAA statistics website for football each year. With the new rules starting in the 2006 season, the number of Bowl Subdivision schools could drop in the future if those schools are not able to pull in enough fans into the games. Additionally, 14 FCS schools had enough attendance to be moved up in 2012. Under current NCAA rules, these schools must have an invitation from an FBS conference in order to move to FBS. Three of them—Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, and Old Dominion—began FBS transitions in 2013. All had the required FBS conference invitations, with Old Dominion joining Conference USA in 2013, and Appalachian State and Georgia Southern joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. The difference in the postseasons in each of the subdivisions grant the FCS an advantage to have the best record in college football history, 17–0, while the FBS only allows a 15–0 record.
Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, is the top level of college football. Schools in Division I FBS compete in post-season bowl games, with the champions of five conferences, along with the highest-ranked champion of the other five conferences, receiving automatic bids to the access bowls.
FBS schools are limited to a total of 85 football players receiving financial assistance. For competitive reasons, a student receiving partial scholarship counts fully against the total of 85. Nearly all FBS schools that are not on NCAA probation give 85 full scholarships.
As of the next college football season of 2019, there will be 130 full members of Division I FBS. The most recent school to become a full FBS member is Liberty University, which made the transition from FCS in 2017 and 2018.
Since the 2016 season, all FBS conferences have been allowed to conduct a championship game that does not count against the limit of 12 regular-season contests. Under the current rules, such a game can be held either (1) between the winners of each of two divisions, with each team having played a full round-robin schedule within its division, or (2) between the conference's top two teams after a full round-robin conference schedule. Previously, "exempt" championship games could only be held between the divisional winners of conferences that had at least 12 football teams and split into divisions. The prize is normally a specific bowl game bid for which the conference has a tie-in.
Some conferences have numbers in their names but this often has no relation to the number of member institutions in the conference. The Big Ten Conference did not formally adopt the "Big Ten" name until 1987, but unofficially used that name when it had 10 members from 1917 to 1946, and again from 1949 forward. However, it has continued to use the name even after it expanded to 11 members with the addition of Penn State in 1990, 12 with the addition of Nebraska in 2011, and 14 with the arrival of Maryland and Rutgers in 2014. The Big 12 Conference was established in 1996 with 12 members, but continues to use that name even after a number of departures and a few replacements left the conference with 10 members. On the other hand, the Pac-12 Conference has used names (official or unofficial) that have reflected the number of members since its current charter was established in 1959. The conference unofficially used "Big Five" (1959–62), "Big Six" (1962–64), and "Pacific-8" (1964–68) before officially adopting the "Pacific-8" name. The name duly changed to "Pacific-10" in 1978 with the addition of Arizona and Arizona State, and "Pac-12" (instead of "Pacific-12") in 2011 when Colorado and Utah joined. Conferences also tend to ignore their regional names when adding new schools. For example, the Pac-8/10/12 retained its "Pacific" moniker even though its four newest members (Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah) are located in the inland West, and the original Big East kept its name even after adding schools (either in all sports or for football only) located in areas traditionally considered to be in the Midwest (Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame), Upper South (Louisville, Memphis) and Southwest (Houston, SMU). The non-football conference that assumed the Big East name when the original Big East split in 2013 is another example of this phenomenon, as half of its 10 inaugural schools (Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Marquette, Xavier) are traditionally regarded as being Midwestern.
|American Athletic Conference||The American||1979 [a]||12 [b][c]||22||Providence, Rhode Island|
|Atlantic Coast Conference **||ACC||1953||15 [d]||26||Greensboro, North Carolina|
|Big Ten Conference **||Big Ten, B1G||1896||14 [e]||28||Rosemont, Illinois|
|Big 12 Conference **||Big 12||1996||10 [f]||21||Irving, Texas|
|Conference USA||C-USA||1995[g]||14 [h]||19||Irving, Texas|
|Division I FBS Independents[i]||6|
|Mid-American Conference||MAC||1946||12[j]||23||Cleveland, Ohio|
|Mountain West Conference||MW||1999||11[k][l]||19||Colorado Springs, Colorado|
|Pac-12 Conference **||Pac-12||1915[m]||12[n]||24||Walnut Creek, California|
|Southeastern Conference **||SEC||1932||14||20||Birmingham, Alabama|
|Sun Belt Conference||Sun Belt||1976||12[o][p]||18||New Orleans, Louisiana|
The Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA, consists of 124 teams as of the 2018 season; three programs are independent, while the remaining 121 teams are structured into 13 conferences. The "I-AA" designation was dropped by the NCAA thirteen years ago in 2006, although it is still informally and commonly used. FCS teams are limited to 63 players on scholarship (compared to 85 for FBS teams) and usually play an 11-game schedule (compared to 12 games for FBS teams). The FCS determines its national champion through an NCAA-sanctioned single-elimination bracket tournament, culminating in a title game, the NCAA Division I Football Championship. As of the 2018 season, the tournament begins with 24 teams; 10 conference champions that received automatic bids, and 14 teams selected at-large by a selection committee.
The postseason tournament traditionally begins on Thanksgiving weekend in late November. When I-AA was formed 41 years ago in 1978, the playoffs included just four teams for its first three seasons, doubling to eight teams for one season in 1981. From 1982 to 1985, there was a 12-team tournament; this expanded to 16 teams in 1986. The playoffs expanded to 20 teams starting in 2010, then grew to 24 teams in 2013. Since the 2010 season, the title game is held in early January at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. From 1997 through 2009, the title game was played in December in Chattanooga, Tennessee, preceded by five seasons in Huntington, West Virginia.
The Football Championship Subdivision includes several conferences which do not participate in the eponymous post-season championship tournament.
The Ivy League was reclassified to I-AA (FCS) following the 1981 season, and plays a strict ten-game schedule. Although it qualifies for an automatic bid, the Ivy League has not played any postseason games at all since becoming a conference for the 1956 NCAA University Division football season, citing academic concerns. (The last college which is now an Ivy League member to play in a bowl game was Columbia in the 1934 Rose Bowl.)
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has its own championship game in mid-December between the champions of its East and West divisions. Also, three of its member schools traditionally do not finish their regular seasons until Thanksgiving weekend. Grambling State and Southern play each other in the Bayou Classic, and Alabama State plays Tuskegee (of Division II) in the Turkey Day Classic. SWAC teams are eligible to accept at-large bids if their schedule is not in conflict. The last SWAC team to participate in the I-AA playoffs was Jackson State in 1997; the SWAC never achieved success in the tournament, going winless in 19 games in twenty years (1978–97). It had greater success outside the conference while in Division II and the preceding College Division.
From 2006 through 2009, the Pioneer Football League and Northeast Conference champions played in the Gridiron Classic. If a league champion was invited to the national championship playoff as an at-large bid (something the Pioneer league, at least, never received), the second-place team would play in the Gridiron Classic. That game was scrapped after the 2009 season when its four-year contract ran out; this coincided with the NCAA's announcement that the Northeast Conference would get an automatic bid to the tournament starting in 2010. The Big South Conference also received an automatic bid in the same season. The Pioneer Football League earned an automatic bid beginning in 2013.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) began abstaining from the playoffs with the 2015 season. Like the SWAC, its members are eligible for at-large bids, and the two conferences have faced off in the Celebration Bowl as an alternative postseason game since the 2015 season.
Schools in a transition period after joining the FCS from a lower division (or from the NAIA) are also ineligible for the playoffs.
Division I FCS schools are currently restricted to giving financial assistance amounting to 63 full scholarships. As FCS football is an "equivalency" sport (as opposed to the "head-count" status of FBS football), Championship Subdivision schools may divide their allotment into partial scholarships. However, FCS schools may only have 85 players receiving any sort of athletic financial aid for football—the same numeric limit as FBS schools. Because of competitive forces, however, a substantial number of players in Championship Subdivision programs are on full scholarships. Another difference is that FCS schools no longer have a limit on the number of new players that can be provided with financial aid in a given season, while FBS schools are limited to 25 such additions per season. Finally, FCS schools are limited to 95 individuals participating in preseason practices, as opposed to 105 at FBS schools (the three service academies that play FBS football are exempt from preseason practice player limits by NCAA rule).
A few Championship Subdivision conferences are composed of schools that offer no athletic scholarships at all, most notably the Ivy League and the Pioneer Football League (PFL), a football-only conference. The Ivy League allows no athletic scholarships at all, while the PFL consists of schools that offer scholarships in other sports but choose not to take on the expense of a scholarship football program. The Northeast Conference also sponsored non-scholarship football, but began offering a maximum of 30 full scholarship equivalents in 2006, which grew to 40 in 2011 after a later vote of the league's school presidents and athletic directors. The Patriot League only began awarding football scholarships in the 2013 season, with the first scholarships awarded only to incoming freshmen. Before the conference began its transition to scholarship football, athletes receiving scholarships in other sports were ineligible to play football for member schools. Since the completion of the transition with the 2016 season, member schools have been allowed up to 60 full scholarship equivalents.
|Conference||Nickname||Founded||Full Members||Sports||Headquarters||FCS Tournament Bid|
|Big Sky Conference||Big Sky||1963||11[a][b]||16||Ogden, Utah||Automatic|
|Big South Conference||Big South||1983||11[c]||18||Charlotte, North Carolina||Automatic|
|Colonial Athletic Association||CAA||1983[d]||10[e][f]||21||Richmond, Virginia||Automatic|
|Division I FCS Independents[g]||3[h]|
|Ivy League||Ivy League||1954[i]||8||33||Princeton, New Jersey||Automatic – (Abstains)|
|Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference||MEAC||1970||12[j][k]||15||Norfolk, Virginia||Abstains|
|Missouri Valley Football Conference||MVFC||1985[l]||10 [m]||1||St. Louis, Missouri||Automatic|
|Northeast Conference||NEC||1981||10 [n][o][p]||22 [q]||Somerset, New Jersey||Automatic|
|Ohio Valley Conference||OVC||1948||12[r]||17||Brentwood, Tennessee||Automatic|
|Patriot League||Patriot||1986[s]||10[t][u]||23||Center Valley, Pennsylvania||Automatic|
|Pioneer Football League||PFL||1991||10[v]||1||St. Louis, Missouri||Automatic|
|Southern Conference||SoCon||1921||10[w]||22||Spartanburg, South Carolina||Automatic|
|Southland Conference||SLC||1963||13[x]||17||Frisco, Texas||Automatic|
|Southwestern Athletic Conference||SWAC||1920||10 [y]||18||Birmingham, Alabama||Abstains|
Several Bowl Subdivision and Championship Subdivision conferences have member institutions that do not compete in football. Such schools are sometimes unofficially referred to as I-AAA.
The following non-football conferences have full members that sponsor football:
The following Division I conferences do not sponsor football. These conferences still compete in Division I for all sports that they sponsor.
|America East Conference||America East||1979||9 [a]||19||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Atlantic Sun Conference||ASUN||1978||9[b]||19||Macon, Georgia|
|Atlantic 10 Conference||A-10||1975||14[c]||21||Newport News, Virginia|
|Big East Conference||Big East||2013[d]||10[e]||22||New York City, New York|
|Big West Conference||Big West||1969||9[f][g]||18||Irvine, California|
|Horizon League||Horizon||1979||10||19||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference||MAAC||1980||11[j]||23[k]||Edison, New Jersey|
|Missouri Valley Conference||MVC / Valley||1907||10[l]||17||St. Louis, Missouri|
|The Summit League||The Summit||1982||9[m]||19||Sioux Falls, South Dakota|
|West Coast Conference||WCC||1952||10[n]||15||San Bruno, California|
|Western Athletic Conference||WAC||1962||9 [o][p]||19||Greenwood Village, Colorado|
Of these, the three that most recently sponsored football were the Atlantic 10, MAAC, and WAC. The A-10 football league dissolved in 2006 with its members going to the Colonial Athletic Association. In addition, four A-10 schools (Dayton, Fordham, Duquesne, and Massachusetts) play football in a conference other than the new CAA, which still includes two full-time A-10 members (Rhode Island and Richmond). The MAAC stopped sponsoring football in 2007, after most of its members gradually stopped fielding teams. The only pre-2007 MAAC member that still sponsors football is Marist; Monmouth became the second full MAAC member with football upon its arrival in 2013. Marist plays in the Pioneer Football League, while Monmouth spent the 2013 season as an FCS independent before moving its football program into the Big South. The WAC dropped football at the end of the 2012 season, after a near-complete membership turnover that saw the conference stripped of all but two of its football-sponsoring members. The two remaining football-sponsoring schools, Idaho and New Mexico State, played the 2013 season as FBS independents before becoming football-only members of the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. Both left Sun Belt football in 2018, with Idaho downgrading to FCS status and adding football to its all-sports Big Sky Conference membership and New Mexico State becoming an FBS independent.
As ice hockey is limited to a much smaller number of almost exclusively Northern schools, there is a completely different conference structure for teams. These conferences feature a mix of teams that play their other sports in various Division I conferences, and even Division II and Division III schools. For most of the early 21st century, there was no correlation between a team's ice hockey affiliation and its affiliation for other sports, with the exception of the Ivy League's hockey-playing schools all being members of the ECAC. For example, before 2013, the Hockey East men's conference consisted of one ACC school, one Big East school, four schools from the America East, one from the A-10, one CAA school, and two schools from the D-II Northeast Ten Conference, while the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) both had some Big Ten representation, plus Division II and III schools. Also, the divisional structure is truncated, with the Division II championship abolished in 1999.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference ceased its sponsorship of the sport in 2003, with the remaining members forming Atlantic Hockey. For the next decade, no regular all-sport conferences sponsored ice hockey.
Starting with the 2013–14 season, Division I men's hockey experienced a major realignment. The Big Ten Conference began to sponsor ice hockey, and their institutions withdrew their membership from the WCHA and CCHA. Additionally, six other schools from those conferences withdrew to form the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference at the same time. The fallout from these moves led to the demise of the CCHA, two more teams entering the NCHC, and further membership turnover in the men's side of the WCHA.
Women's hockey was largely unaffected by this realignment. The Big Ten still has only four members with varsity women's hockey, with six teams required under conference bylaws for official sponsorship. As a result, the only changes in women's hockey affiliations in the 2010–14 period occurred in College Hockey America, which saw two schools drop the sport and three new members join.
|Big Ten Conference||Big Ten, B1G||1896 [a]||7||7||none|
|College Hockey America||CHA||1999 [b]||6||none||6|
|National Collegiate Hockey Conference||NCHC||2011[e]||8||8||none|
|Western Collegiate Hockey Association||WCHA||1951||15||10||7|
In the early 21st century, a controversy arose in the NCAA over whether schools will continue to be allowed to have one showcased program in Division I with the remainder of the athletic program in a lower division, as is the case of, notably, Johns Hopkins University lacrosse as well as Colorado College and University of Alabama in Huntsville in ice hockey. This is an especially important issue in hockey, which has no Division II national championship and has several schools whose other athletic programs compete in Division II and Division III.
This controversy was resolved at the 2004 NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee when the members supported Proposal 65-1, the amended legislation co-sponsored by Colorado College, Clarkson University, Hartwick College, the Johns Hopkins University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University–Newark, St. Lawrence University, and SUNY Oneonta. Each school affected by this debate is allowed to grant financial aid to student-athletes who compete in Division I programs in one men's sport and one women's sport. It is still permitted for other schools to place one men's and one women's sport in Division I going forward, but they cannot offer scholarships without bringing the whole program into compliance with Division I rules. In addition, schools in Divisions II and III are allowed to "play up" in any sport that does not have a championship for the school's own division, but only Division II programs and any Division III programs covered by the exemption can offer scholarships in those sports.
The Division I programs at each of the eight "waiver schools" which were grandfathered with the passing of Proposal 65-1 were:
The 1979 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament involved 40 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 9, 1979, and ended with the championship game on March 26 in Salt Lake City. A total of 40 games were played, including a national third-place game.
Michigan State, coached by Jud Heathcote, won the national title with a 75–64 victory in the final game over Indiana State, coached by Bill Hodges. Indiana State came into the game without a loss all season, but couldn't win their final game. Magic Johnson of Michigan State was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Michigan State's victory over Indiana State was its first over a number one ranked team, and remained its only victory over a number one ranked team until 2007 (Wisconsin).The final game marked the beginning of the rivalry between future Hall of Famers Johnson and Larry Bird. As of 2016, it remains the highest-rated game in the history of televised college basketball. Both Johnson and Bird would enter the NBA in the fall of 1979, and the rivalry between them and their teams (respectively, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics) was a major factor in the league's renaissance in the 1980s and 1990s. The game also led to the "modern era" of college basketball, as it introduced a nationwide audience to a sport that was once relegated to second-class status in the sports world.
With the loss in the championship game, Indiana State has finished as the National Runner-up in the NAIA (1946 and 1948), NCAA Division I (1979), and the NCAA Division II (1968) making them the only school to do so.
This was the first tournament in which all teams were seeded by the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. The top six seeds in each regional received byes to the second round, while seeds 7-10 played in the first round. It is also notable as the last Final Four played in an on-campus arena, at the University of Utah. (The most recent tournament to be held on a university's premises (i.e. not on the university's main campus, but on a satellite or branch campus) was in 1983, as the University of New Mexico (UNM) hosted that year's tournament in The Pit (then officially known as University Arena), which is located on the UNM South Campus.) It has, however, been played in a team's regular off-campus home arena two times since then: in 1985 at Rupp Arena, Kentucky's home court, and in 1996 at Continental Airlines Arena, then Seton Hall's home court. Given the use of domed stadiums for Final Fours for the foreseeable future, it is likely this will be the last Final Four on a college campus. This tournament was the last until the 2019 tournament to see two finalists playing for the national championship for the first time.2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament that involved 68 teams playing to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 19, 2013, and concluded with the championship game on April 8, 2013, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. This was the 75th edition of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, dating to 1939.
The Final Four consisted of Louisville, Wichita State (second ever appearance), Syracuse (first appearance since their 2003 national championship), and Michigan, returning for the first time since the Fab Five's second appearance in 1993 (which was later vacated). By winning the West Region, Wichita State became the first #9 seed and first Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) team to reach the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The last #9 seed to reach the Final Four was Penn, and the last MVC team to do so was Indiana State, both in 1979.
Louisville defeated Michigan in the championship game by a final score of 82-76, winning their first national title since 1986. They also are the last team from the original Big East Conference to win a national championship. On February 20, 2018, the NCAA vacated Louisville's entire tournament run, including its national title, due to multiple recruiting violations.The tournament featured several notable upsets: at least one team seeded #9 through #15 won at least once in the tournament, The most notable was Florida Gulf Coast University, who made their tournament debut in only their second year of Division I eligibility. They upset Georgetown and San Diego State in their first two games, becoming the first #15 seed to advance to the regional semifinals (where they were defeated by Florida). For the first time since 2010, a #14 seed won as Harvard defeated New Mexico in the West Region. The same region saw #13 La Salle, who won in the opening round, defeat #4 Kansas State and #12 Mississippi defeat #5 Wisconsin. In addition to that, the region's top seed, Gonzaga, was defeated in the round of 32 by eventual region winner Wichita State, who defeated La Salle in the Sweet Sixteen.
Two other teams also earned their first ever NCAA Tournament victory: Ivy League champion Harvard and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion North Carolina A&T. Liberty became the first 20-loss team in five years to earn an NCAA bid, having finished its season with five consecutive wins to secure the Big South championship and its automatic qualification.2017 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 68 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the men's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2016–17 season. The 79th edition of the tournament began on March 14, 2017, and concluded with the championship game on April 3 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The championship game was the first to be contested in a Western state since 1995 when Seattle was the host of the Final Four for that year.
In the Final Four, North Carolina beat Oregon (making their first Final Four appearance since 1939) while Gonzaga defeated South Carolina (both making their first ever Final Four appearance). North Carolina then defeated Gonzaga 71–65 to win the national championship.2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament of 68 teams to determine the men's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2017–18 season. The 80th annual edition of the tournament began on March 13, 2018, and concluded with the championship game on April 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
During the first round, UMBC became the first 16-seed to defeat a 1-seed in the men's tournament by defeating Virginia 74–54. For the first time in tournament history, none of the four top seeded teams in a single region (the South) advanced to the Sweet 16. Also, the tournament featured the first regional final matchup of a 9-seed (Kansas State) and an 11-seed (Loyola-Chicago).
Villanova, Michigan, Kansas, and Loyola-Chicago, the "Cinderella team" of the tournament, reached the Final Four. Villanova defeated Michigan in the championship game, 79–62.
Atlantic Sun Conference champion Lipscomb made its NCAA tournament debut.
The 2018 tournament was the first time since 1978 that none of the six Division I college basketball-playing schools based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area – American, Georgetown, George Mason, George Washington, Howard, and Maryland – made the NCAA Tournament.2019 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament of 68 teams to determine the men's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2018–19 season. The 81st annual edition of the tournament began on March 19, 2019 and concluded with the championship game on April 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Virginia Cavaliers, with Virginia winning 85-77 in overtime.Two schools made their first appearances in the tournament: Big South champion Gardner–Webb and Southland champion Abilene Christian.
For the first time since 2001, no #8 seed survived the first round of the tournament. This is also the first time since the First Four was established in 2011 that no team in the First Four advanced past the first round of the tournament.
This tournament marked the first time that the Auburn Tigers of the Southeastern Conference and the Texas Tech Red Raiders of the Big 12 Conference made the Final Four. This also marked the third Final Four appearance for the Virginia Cavaliers of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but their first since 1984.
The 2019 tournament was the first time since 2017 that two Final Four participants had their first ever appearances. This tournament was the first since 1979 to see two finalists playing for the national championship for the first time and the first since 2006 to have a first-time national champion.Carsen Edwards of Purdue was the leading scorer, with 139 points in only 4 games - producing a stellar average of 34.8 points per game. Edwards also set the record for most made 3 point shots in a tournament, with 28. The previous record holder made 27, but did it in 6 games.
In the previous year's tournament, Virginia had infamously become the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed. At the conclusion of this year's title game, CBS announcer Jim Nantz dubbed Virginia's win the "all-time turnaround title."College football national championships in NCAA Division I FBS
A national championship in the highest level of college football in the United States, currently the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), is a designation awarded annually by various organizations to their selection of the best college football team. Division I FBS football is the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sport for which the NCAA does not sanction a yearly championship event. As such, it is sometimes unofficially referred to as a "mythical national championship".Due to the lack of an official NCAA title, determining the nation's top college football team has often engendered controversy. A championship team is independently declared by multiple individuals and organizations, often referred to as "selectors". These choices are not always unanimous. In 1969 even the President of the United States Richard Nixon declared a national champion by announcing, ahead of the season-ending game between #1 Texas and #2 Arkansas, that the winner of that game would receive a plaque from the President himself, commemorating that team as the year's national champion. Texas went on to win that game, 15–14.While the NCAA has never officially endorsed a championship team, it has documented the choices of some selectors in its official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records publication. In addition, various analysts have independently published their own choices for each season. These opinions can often diverge with others as well as individual schools' claims to national titles, which may or may not correlate to the selections published elsewhere. Currently, two of the most widely recognized national champion selectors are the Associated Press, which conducts a poll of sportswriters, and the Coaches Poll, a survey of active members of the American Football Coaches Association.
Since 1992, various consortia of major bowl games have aimed to invite the top two teams at the end of the regular season (as determined by internal rankings, or aggregates of the major polls and other statistics) to compete in what is intended to be the de facto national championship game. The current iteration of this practice, the College Football Playoff, selects four teams to participate in national semi-finals hosted by two of six partner bowl games, with their winners advancing to the College Football Playoff National Championship.List of NCAA Division I men's basketball champions
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's Division I Basketball Championship, or NCAA Tournament, is a single-elimination tournament for men's college basketball teams in the United States. It determines the champion of Division I, the top level of play in the NCAA, and the media often describes the winner as the national champion of college basketball. The NCAA Tournament has been held annually since 1939, and its field grew from eight teams in the beginning to sixty-five teams by 2001; as of 2011, sixty-eight teams take part in the tournament. Teams can gain invitations by winning a conference championship or receiving an at-large bid from a 10-person committee. The semifinals of the tournament are known as the Final Four and are held in a different city each year, along with the championship game; Indianapolis, the city where the NCAA is based, will host the Final Four every five years until 2040. Each winning university receives a rectangular, gold-plated trophy made of wood.The first NCAA Tournament was organized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Oregon won the inaugural tournament, defeating Ohio State 46–33 in the first championship game. Before the 1941 tournament, control of the event was given to the NCAA. In the early years of the tournament, it was considered less important than the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), a New York City-based event. Teams were able to compete in both events in the same year, and three of those that did so—Utah in 1944, Kentucky in 1949, and City College of New York (CCNY) in 1950—won the NCAA Tournament. The 1949–50 CCNY team won both tournaments (defeating Bradley in both finals), and is the only college basketball team to accomplish this feat. By the mid-1950s, the NCAA Tournament became the more prestigious of the two events, and in 1971 the NCAA barred universities from playing in other tournaments, such as the NIT, if they were invited to the NCAA Tournament. The 2013 championship won by Louisville was the first men's basketball national title to ever be vacated by the NCAA after the school and its coach at the time, Rick Pitino, were implicated in a 2015 sex scandal involving recruits.The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been the most successful college in the NCAA Tournament, winning 11 national titles. Ten of those championships came during a 12-year stretch from 1964 to 1975. UCLA also holds the record for the most consecutive championships, winning seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. Kentucky has the second-most titles, with eight. North Carolina is third with six championships, while Duke and Indiana follow with five each. Virginia is the most recent champion, having defeated Texas Tech in the final of the 2019 tournament. Among head coaches, John Wooden is the all-time leader with 10 championships; he coached UCLA during their period of success in the 1960s and 1970s. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is second all-time with five titles.List of NCAA Division I men's ice hockey champions
The NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament is a college ice hockey tournament held in the United States by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Like other Division I championships, it is the highest level of NCAA men's hockey competition.
Broadmoor Ice Palace in Colorado Springs, Colorado hosted the tournament for the first ten years and has hosted eleven times overall, the most of any venue. Michigan has won the most tournaments with nine, while Vic Heyliger has coached the most championship teams, winning six times with Michigan between 1948 and 1956. Jerry York has made the most appearances in the title game with nine, going 5-4 in the process.List of NCAA conferences
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is divided into three divisions, based roughly on school size. Each division is made up of several conferences for regional league play. Unless otherwise noted, changes in conference affiliation will occur on July 1 of the given year.NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player
At the conclusion of the NCAA men's and women's Division I basketball championships (the "Final Four" tournaments), the Associated Press selects a Most Outstanding Player. The MOP need not be, but almost always is, a member of the Championship team, especially since the third-place game was eliminated after 1981. The last man to win the award despite not being on the Championship team was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1983. Dawn Staley was the only woman to do so, when she won the award in 1991.NCAA Division I Baseball Championship
The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship is held each year from May through June and features 64 college baseball teams in the United States, culminating in the eight-team College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. Oregon State is the 2018 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament champion, defeating runner-up Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 to win the 2018 College World Series championship finals.
The tournament is unique in that it features four tiers of competition, alternating between double-elimination brackets and best-of-three series. In fact, throughout the entire 64-team tournament, a team can lose a total of four games and still be crowned champions.
During team selection, sixteen teams are given "national seeds". The top eight of these teams automatically host a super regional if they advance past the regional round, assuming they have the facilities to do so. Only 2 times has a national seed not hosted due to lack of proper facilities. As in other NCAA tournaments, conference champions (usually determined by a tournament) receive automatic bids, and the selection committee fills the remaining spots.
The first tier, called Regionals, consists of 16 locations that include four teams, seeded 1 through 4, competing in a double-elimination bracket. The 16 host sites are determined mostly by merit – most No. 1 seeds host – but are also contested by bids from schools guaranteeing the NCAA a certain amount of revenue from that regional. Host teams traditionally have a large advantage, although the home team for each game is determined by rule, so the host school sometimes plays as the visiting team. The winner of each regional moves on to the second tier, the Super Regionals.
Super Regionals are played at eight locations throughout the country and consist of the 16 surviving teams, matched up by predetermined regional pairings. National seeds 1-8 cannot meet each other in the super regional and are guaranteed to host. If the higher national seed in the bracket is eliminated in the regional stage, but the lower national seed advances, the super regional will be played at the national seeded team's field. If the two seeds are not national seeds, the Super Regional will be bid upon by the two competing teams. If the national seed wins the regional but is unable to host, the Super Regional is awarded to the other regional winner in its bracket. This scenario played out in 2015 when national seed Missouri State could not host a Super Regional because the minor league Springfield Cardinals, which have scheduling priority at the stadium where both teams play, were playing a home series at that time. The Super Regional was thus awarded to Arkansas. The two teams play a best-of-three series to determine who moves on to the College World Series. Although one school hosts all three games, the teams split home-team status in the first two games, with the host school batting last in the opening game and first in game 2. If a third game is needed, a coin toss determines home-team status. Ole Miss is the only school to host three Super Regionals without advancing to the College World Series under the current format. Florida State has lost five Super Regionals as host, but has also advanced to the College World Series five times under the current format.
The final eight teams meet in Omaha, Nebraska in the College World Series. The CWS mimics the earlier rounds, consisting of two double-elimination brackets of four teams each. Thereafter, the winners of each bracket meet in a best-of-three final. The winner of this final series wins the College World Series and is crowned the national champion.NCAA Division I FBS independent schools
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision independent schools are four-year institutions whose football programs are not part of an NCAA-affiliated conference. This means that FBS independents are not required to schedule each other for competition like conference schools do.
There are fewer independent schools than in years past; many independent schools join, or attempt to join, established conferences. The main reasons to join a conference are to gain a share of television revenue and access to bowl games that agree to take teams from certain conferences, and to help deal with otherwise potentially difficult challenges in scheduling opponents to play throughout the season.
All Division I FBS independents are eligible for the College Football Playoff (CFP), or for the so-called "access bowls" associated with the CFP, if they are chosen by the CFP selection committee. Notre Dame has a potential tie-in with the Orange Bowl. Army has an agreement with the Military Bowl (formerly the EagleBank Bowl), and Notre Dame, in addition to its CFP agreement, has other bowl agreements as part of its affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). (Notre Dame had similar agreements with its previous conference, the Big East.) BYU had an agreement with the Armed Forces Bowl for 2011.The ranks of football independents increased by one starting with the 2011 season with the announcement that BYU would leave the Mountain West Conference (MWC) to become a football independent starting with that season. The ranks increased by two in 2013 when the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) dropped football and New Mexico State and Idaho did not have a conference for football. The ranks of football independents decreased by two in 2014 with the return of Idaho and New Mexico State as football-only members of the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) and decreased by one more in 2015 with Navy joining the American Athletic Conference (AAC) as a football-only member. UMass became an FBS independent in 2016. Two further teams joined the ranks of FBS independents for the 2018 season: New Mexico State, whose membership in the Sun Belt Conference was not extended beyond the 2017 season, and Liberty, which transitioned from the Big South Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision in 2018.NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision
The NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, is the top level of college football in the United States. The FBS is the most competitive subdivision of NCAA Division I, which itself consists of the largest and most competitive schools in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). As of 2018, there are 10 conferences and 130 schools in FBS.
College football is very popular throughout much of the United States, and the top schools generate tens of millions of dollars in yearly revenue. Top FBS teams draw tens of thousands of fans to games, and the ten largest American stadiums by capacity all host FBS teams or games. College athletes are not paid, but colleges are allowed to provide players with non-monetary compensation such as athletic scholarships that provide for tuition, housing, and books.
Unlike other NCAA divisions and subdivisions, the NCAA does not officially award an FBS football national championship, nor does it sanction a playoff tournament to determine such a champion on the field. Instead, organizations such as the Associated Press and AFCA have historically sought to rank the teams and crown a national champion, by taking a vote of sports writers and coaches, respectively. In place of such a playoff, various cities across the United States hold their own post-season contests, called bowl games, in which they traditionally invite teams to participate in them. Historically, these bowl games were mostly considered to be exhibition games involving a payout to participating teams. However, in the modern era they are considered the de facto post-season. There have been agreements in recent decades (such as the Bowl Coalition from 1992 to 1994, the Bowl Alliance from 1995 to 1997, the Bowl Championship Series from 1998 to 2013, and the College Football Playoff from 2014 to the present) by the premier FBS conferences and bowl games to organize matchups so that the FBS national championship is decided on the field.NCAA Division I Football Championship
The NCAA Division I Football Championship is a annual post-season college football game, played since 2006, used to determine a national champion of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). From 1978 to 2005, the game was known as the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship.
The game serves as the final match of an annual postseason bracket tournament between top teams in FCS. Since 2013, 24 teams participate in the tournament, with some teams receiving automatic bids upon winning their conference championship, and other teams determined by a selection committee. The reigning national champions are the North Dakota State Bison, who have won seven championship games in the past eight seasons (2011–2015, 2017–2018).
The FCS is the highest division in college football to hold a playoff tournament sanctioned by the NCAA to determine its champion. The four-team College Football Playoff used by the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) is not sanctioned by the NCAA.NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, also known and branded as NCAA March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States, currently featuring 64 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. Played mostly during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States.The tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences (which receive automatic bids), and 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee, then announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the "First Four" play-in games, currently held in Dayton, Ohio, and dubbed Selection Sunday. The 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination "bracket", which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next. Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a "first four" consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the "Sweet Sixteen" and "Elite Eight" rounds the next week and weekend, respectively, and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the "Final Four" round. The Final Four is usually played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region (East, South, Midwest, and West), compete in a preselected location for the national championship.
The tournament has been at least partially televised since 1969. Currently, the games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV under the trade-name NCAA March Madness. Since 2011, all games are available for viewing nationwide and internationally. As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity. Currently, millions of Americans fill out a bracket, attempting to correctly predict the outcome of 63 games of the tournament (not including the First Four games).
With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; John Wooden coached UCLA to 10 of its 11 titles. The University of Kentucky (UK) is second, with eight national titles. The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, and Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national titles. The University of Connecticut is sixth with four national titles. The University of Kansas (KU) & Villanova are tied for 7th with three national titles. Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke has won five championships; North Carolina and Connecticut have each won four; Kentucky & Villanova have three; Kansas & Florida have two; and Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville, Syracuse, UCLA, UNLV, and Virginia have one.NCAA Division I Men's Final Four appearances by school
This is a list of NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four appearances by school. Several teams have vacated Final Four appearances and are marked with an * with explanations listed below. The listed Final Four totals for those teams do not include the vacated appearances. Schools in italics no longer compete in NCAA Division I.NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament
The annual NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament is a college ice hockey tournament held in the United States by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to determine the top men's
team in Division I. Like other Division I championships, it is the highest level of NCAA men's hockey competition.
The semi-finals and finals are branded as the Frozen Four. The final two rounds of the hockey tournament were first referred to as the Frozen Four in 1999.NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament
The NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament, sometimes known as the College Cup, is an American intercollegiate soccer tournament conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and determines the Division I men's national champion. The tournament has been formally held since 1959, when it was an eight-team tournament. Since then, the tournament has expanded to 48 teams, in which every Division I conference tournament champion is allocated a berth. Among the most successful programs, Saint Louis won 10 titles during dynasty years between 1959 and 1973. Indiana has won 8 titles beginning in 1982, whereas Virginia has won 7 titles beginning in 1989.
While the tournament is frequently referenced as the College Cup, the NCAA applies the title only to the semifinal and championship rounds of the tournament proper. Since the tournament began, the semifinal and final fixtures have been held at a neutral site predetermined by the NCAA prior to the start of the regular season.NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament
The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament is an annual college basketball tournament for women. Held each March, the Women's Championship was inaugurated in the 1981–82 season. The NCAA tournament was preceded by the AIAW Women's Basketball Tournament, which was held annually from 1972 to 1982. Basketball was one of 12 women's sports added to the NCAA championship program for the 1981–82 school year, as the NCAA engaged in battle with the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) for sole governance of women's collegiate sports. The AIAW continued to conduct its established championship program in the same 12 (and other) sports; however, after a year of dual women's championships, the NCAA prevailed, while the AIAW disbanded.
Attendance and interest in the Women's Division I Championship have grown over the years, especially from 2003 to 2016, when the final championship game was moved to the Tuesday following the Monday men's championship game. The women's championship game is the penultimate overall game of the college basketball season since 2017. From 1982 to 1990, 1996 to 2002, and since 2017 the Women's Final Four is usually played on the Friday before the Men's Final Four or the hours before the men played on the final Saturday of the tournament. The final was usually played the Sunday afternoon following the Men's Final Four; since 2017, Sunday evening.
The tournament bracket is made up of champions from each Division I conference, which receive automatic bids. The remaining slots are at-large bids, with teams chosen by an NCAA selection committee. The selection process and tournament seedings are based on several factors, including team rankings, win-loss records, and Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) data.
Unlike the men's tournament, there are only 32 at-large bids (since 2014), and no play-in game. The women's tournament, like the men's, is staged in a single elimination format and is part of the media and public frenzy known colloquially as March Madness or The Big Dance.
All 63 games have been broadcast on television since 2003 on ESPN and ESPN2. Similar to the pre-2011 men's tournament coverage on CBS, local teams are shown on each channel when available, with "whip-around" coverage designed to showcase the most competitive contests in the rest of the country.
Events listed in italics have been discontinued.