The NCAA basketball tournament will add a new preliminary round, making room for three more teams with no chance of winning a national college basketball title, the NCAA
announced yesterday afternoon
. The three new teams will be “at large” selections, meaning that they already failed to win their own conference championships. This will bring the total number of teams in the field to 68.
The extra teams will join one other at-large team and four low-rated conference champions in an eight-team pre-tournament; the winners—called the “First Four”—will advance to the regular bracket of 64 (now called the “second round”), where they each will most likely be beaten by a better rested, higher seeded team.