How Do Teams Qualify for the NCAA Basketball Tournament?

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There are two ways to qualify for the NCAA Division I basketball tournament. Thirty-one teams automatically qualify by winning their conference post-season championship, and the Ivy League sends its regular-season champion. The remaining entrants are selected by an official committee made of college athletics professionals, such as conference commissioners and university athletic directors.

The selection process works similarly for both the men's and women's tournament, though there are some technical differences in the selection process for each group. One major basic difference is that the men's basketball tournament includes 68 teams while the women have a 64-team field. This means that the selection committee chooses 36 men's teams and 32 women's teams. Selections are based on a number of factors, such as a team's ranking in national polls and regular-season record.