When Does NCAA D1 Basketball Start?

When Does NCAA D1 Basketball Start? Here Are Important NCAA D1 Dates

Whether you’re a player wondering when does NCAA D1 Basketball Start? or a fans eagerly waiting for the new seasons first game to begin, this article has all the important dates and basketball event information so you don’t miss a thing! And, we update this article every year to the current season’s dates.


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NCAA D1 college basketball officially begins mid-October, usually around the 15th. This is when basketball teams can officially start practice and begin playing games. The time spent doing basketball training prior to this is considered pre-season (pre-season training) with the NCAA officially regulating practices and interaction times between basketball coaches and players during this period.

To prepare for the NCAA tournament, all D1 men’s basketball programs must meet specific scheduling standards, these standards are as follows:

  • 24 regular game seasons and one multi-team tournament with a maximum of three games.
  • 25 regular game seasons and one multi-team tournament with a maximum of two games.
  • 25 regular-season games without a multi-team tournament.


The 2023–2024 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball season will begin on November 6, 2023. The regular season will end on March 17, 2023 with March Madness quickly following.


Just to be clear, only Division 1 men’s basketball is allowed to hold tryouts. Those tryouts are limited to prospective student-athletes who are seniors in high school or junior college transfers or four-year transfers who have completed their basketball season. They also must be on an official or unofficial visit to the school’s campus. Also, on-campus evaluations are limited to two hours per week, whether your try out is during the collegiate season or out of it. Another thing to bear in mind is, the two hours must take place during the regular allowable practice time which is 20 hours during the season or eight hours out of it.


D1 basketball teams start practice around the 15th October (Midnight Madness). This is the same every year for every D1 school across the United States. If a school does not have their practice date exactly on the 15th, it will be very close to this, maybe 1 or 2 dates before or after.


NCAA  D1 college  basketball has a very enticing name for the start of their basketball season. It actually starts a lot earlier than some people may think. Most of us are very familiar with the overwhelming excitement that March Madness brings us, but some may not be as familiar with Midnight Madness so let me fill you in.

As we have already stated, the date on which basketball teams celebrate Midnight Madness can vary, but most stick with the traditional date of a Friday night closest to October 15th. Many schools hold their annual Midnight Madness events to signal the start of a new year and to get their players and their fans into the right frame of mind. It’s a great way for the schools to get their crowds super excited about their upcoming men’s (and women’s) basketball teams a few weeks ahead before the regular season games begin!


Midnight Madness is a huge basketball event held at midnight to get everyone fired up for the upcoming season but where did this wonderful tradition come from and how did it get started? Well, the tradition began way back on October 15th 1971 at the University of Maryland with the legendary Head Coach of the Terrapins at the time, Coach Lefty Driesell. Coach Driesell sent his players for a 1-mile run, you guessed it, just after midnight thus marking the start of the season and the start of gaining some early publicity for NCAA Division 1 basketball. He wanted to be the first team in the United States to start practice. His coaching decision caught traction and snowballed into the massive event we now know today as “Midnight Madness”. Midnight Madness is an extremely popular event which often has celebrity acts entertaining the crowds. It has evolved into every college team’s annual rite of passage, so a big thank you to Coach Lefty Driesell for starting such a fun and engaging traditional celebration!


March Madness is the informal name given to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 men’s (and women’s) basketball championship tournaments. They both begin in the month of March and consist of fields of 68 teams.

The 2024 NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament begins on Sunday March 17th and ends with the championship game at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix Arizona on Saturday April 6-8, 2024. This month-long tournament puts the top-ranked teams against each other in a series of elimination matches.

The NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament (March Madness) is a single-elimination tournament of 68 teams that compete in seven rounds for the national championship. The penultimate round is known as the Final Four, where only four teams are left to fight it out for the Championship title.

Here is the schedule for 2023-2024 Season March Madness tournament:

Selection Sunday: 

  • March 17th – Selection Sunday marks that dates when the tournament’s field of 68 is announced.

First Four: 

  • March 19-20th – four games will be played between eight teams to decide which teams advance to the 64-team bracket.

Rounds 1 & 2:

  • March 21-22nd
  • March 23-24th

Regional Semifinals (Sweet Sixteen) and Finals (Elite Eight):

  • March 28-29th

National Semifinals (Final Four) and Championship

  • April 6th 2024 – State Farm Stadium Stadium – Glendale, Arizona

NCAA Championship Game

  • April 8th 2024 – State Farm Stadium Stadium – Glendale, Arizona

The 2024 NCAA Men’s Final Four will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium after it was first played there in 2017. In the year 2017 the teams who played there were North Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon and South Carolina.

Television rights for the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament are held by CBS Sports and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports has US television rights to the tournament, with TBS televising the 2024 Final Four and the National Championship Game.

NOTE: This will be the first tournament with Ian Eagle as the lead play-by-play announcer.

Here are the tv channels for you to choose from:

  • Selection Show – CBS
  • First Four – TruTV
  • First and Second Rounds – CBS, TBS, TNT and Tru
  • TVRegional Semifinals and Finals – CBS & TBS
  • National Semifinals (Final Four) and Championship – TBS

Why is it called March Madness?

March Madness refers to the final weeks of the US college basketball tournament that features the top schools from all across the country. I think they may have chosen the word “madness” because there are so many games going on all over the country, at the same time.


Here you can access the most up-to-date college basketball openings from college coaches looking for players to fill roster spots