March Madness 2018 schedule and what to know

Can you handle the “insanity”? 

March Madness is underway: college athletes are competing in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament in hopes of being crowned national champions.  

Just sixteen teams remain, with Sweet 16 games set to begin on Thursday night.

Read on for a look at the schedule from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and what to expect over the next few weeks.

What are some important dates?

Mar 16, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; General view of the March Madness logo prior to the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Xavier Musketeers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports - 9947716

Dozens of men's college basketball teams will compete in March Madness.  (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

March 11

Selection Sunday — the day the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee officially announces which 68 teams qualified for the NCAA tournament — kicked off. 

Thirty-six teams are chosen to fill “at-large berths” to compete by the committee, which ranks all 68 teams and brackets them, the NCAA says. The other 32 teams are conference tournament champions who get automatic spots to play. 

The March Madness Selection Show revealed which teams got at-large spots: they include the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Arizona State Sun Devils, the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Auburn Tigers, the Butler Bulldogs, the Clemson Tigers, the Creighton Bluejays, the Duke Blue Devils, the Florida Gators and the Florida State Seminoles. 

The Houston Cougars, the Kansas State Wildcats, the Miami Hurricanes, the Michigan State Spartans, the Missouri Tigers, the NC State Wolfpack, the Nevada Wolf Pack, the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oklahoma Sooners also all received at-large bids. 

The Providence Friars, the Purdue Boilermakers, the Rhode Island Rams, the Seton Hall Pirates, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, the Syracuse Orange, the TCU Horned Frogs, the Tennessee Volunteers, the Texas Longhorns, the Texas A&M Aggies, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the UCLA Bruins, the Virginia Tech Hokies, the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Wichita State Shockers and the Xavier Musketeers round out the teams with at-large bids. 

Virginia was named the overall No. 1 seed for this year’s competition.

March 13 and 14

“The last four at-large teams on the overall seed list, as well as teams seeded 65 through 68, compete in the First Four games,” according to the NCAA.

The four winning teams advance to the first round of the tournament.

On March 13, he Radford Highlanders defeated the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, and the St. Bonaventure Bonnies beat the UCLA Bruins. 

The March 14 games included the Texas Southern Tigers beating the North Carolina Central State Eagles and the Syracuse Orange defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils. 

March 15 and 16

Sixty-four teams competed in first-round games in Boise, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Nashville, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Wichita to advance to the next stage. 

On March 16, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the history of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, upsetting Virginia 74-54.

March 17 and 18

Thirty-two teams battled it out in second-round games.

In one of the March 18 games, the Texas A&M Aggies defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels -- the defending NCAA men's basketball champions -- 86-65 in Charlotte.

March 22 and March 23

The remaining teams will compete in the Sweet 16 round, which includes eight regional semifinal games in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles and Omaha. 

The Duke Blue Devils, the Clemson Tigers, the Florida State Seminoles, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, the Kansas Jayhawks, the Kansas State Wildcats, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Loyola Ramblers have all reached this stage. 

The Michigan Wolverines, the Nevada Wolf Pack, the Purdue Boilermakers, the Texas A&M Aggies, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, the Villanova Wildcats, the West Virginia Mountaineers, and the Syracuse Orange are also advancing. 

March 24 and March 25

Teams in the Elite 8 round will play in regional finals in those same four cities. The four winning teams will head to the next stage. 

March 31

The Final Four round consists of two games in San Antonio.

April 2

The remaining two teams will duke it out in San Antonio for the national title. 

Which teams received automatic bids to compete? 

Thirty-two teams won conference tournaments, making them automatic qualifiers. Those include the Arizona Wildcats, the Bucknell Bison, the Buffalo Bulls, the Cal State Fullerton Titans, the Charleston Cougars, the Cincinnati Bearcats, the Davidson Wildcats, the Georgia State Panthers, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, the Iona Gaels, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Kentucky Wildcats. 

The Lipscomb Bisons, the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, the Loyola Ramblers, the Marshall Thundering Herd, the Michigan Wolverines, the Montana Grizzlies, the Murray State Racers, the North Carolina Central Eagles, the New Mexico State Aggies and the Penn Quakers also received automatic bids. 

The Radford Highlanders, the San Diego State Aztecs, the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, the Texas Southern Tigers, the UMBC Retrievers, the UNC-Greensboro Spartans, the Villanova Wildcats, the Virginia Cavaliers and the Wright State Raiders garnered automatic bids, too. 

How can I watch March Madness games?

Apr 3, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Theo Pinson (1) celebrates after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports - 9992202

North Carolina clinched its sixth national title in basketball in 2017. This year, the team was knocked out during the second round of the tournament, losing to Texas A&M.  (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The NCAA says that the national semifinals will air on TBS at 6:09 p.m. ET and 8:49 p.m. ET on March 31. The national championship is set to take place April 2 on TBS at 9:20 p.m. ET. 

Other information for March Madness games can be found here. Fans can who want to see the action in-person can also purchase game tickets online

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report.