The four first-round games, known as the “First Four,” will highlight the start of the Road to the Final Four, and future Men’s Final Fours, as part of NCAA's 14-year partnership with Turner Broadcasting and CBS Sports. All four games will be broadcast nationally in primetime on Turner Broadcasting's truTV.
These four games will constitute the first round of the championship, with the second- and third-rounds played to round out of the first week of play. Two of the first-round games will feature the last four at-large teams selected to the championship field, while the other two games will match teams ranked 65 through 68 on the overall seed list. The two at-large pairings will both occupy the seed line where they would normally be placed in the bracket. The pairings could occupy different lines in the bracket. For example, one game may be played between two No. 10 seeds, while the other could feature a pair of No. 12 seeds. Winners of those games would advance to play their natural opponent on a 64-team bracket; the No. 10 seed would play a seventh-seeded team and a 12th-seeded team would meet a No. 5 seed.