How March Madness Works

College Basketball Basics
Official NCAA logo
Official NCAA logo
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A single governing body, known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is charged with overseeing the almost 1,300 voluntary college and university members that comprise the association. Volunteers from the association's member schools manage the organization and make rules to ensure fairness among all intercollegiate athletics.

Among the nearly 1,300 colleges and universities that make up the NCAA, 1,066 were considered active members in 2013. According to the NCAA:

an active member is a four-year college or university or a two-year, upper-level collegiate institution that has been accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency and duly elected to active membership under the provisions of the Association bylaws.

Active members are allowed to compete in tournaments and other championship events.

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