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Men's, women's college basketball teams ready for renewed March Madness

Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe will be among the top players to watch in the 2022 Division I men's basketball tournament. Photo courtesy of UK Athletics
1 of 6 | Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe will be among the top players to watch in the 2022 Division I men's basketball tournament. Photo courtesy of UK Athletics

MIAMI, March 11 (UPI) -- Nearly 1,800 athletes will play in front of millions of fans through early April in the Division I men's and women's college basketball tournaments. The respective 68-team fields will be announced Sunday on CBS and ESPN.

The men's tournament will air on CBS, truTV, TBS and TNT. The women's tournament will air on ESPN networks. Games also will stream on NCAA March Madness Live.

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The men's Final Four will be April 2 at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. The men's National Championship game will be April 4 in New Orleans.

The women's Final Four will be April 1 at Target Center in Minneapolis. The National Championship game is two days later in the same arena.

The 68 team fields will each include the 32 winners of their respective conferences and 36 teams who make the tournament as at-large picks by selection committees based on their 2021-22 records.

Dozens of conference tournament games take place through Sunday afternoon, which will result in automatic berths and improve other programs chances of earning an invitation to the "Big Dance."

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The coronavirus canceled the 2020 NCAA basketball postseason and downsized the scale of last year's competitions, which took place at centralized locations near Indianapolis and San Antonio, Texas. This year's format, like in the past, branches out to host cities around the country.

Men's tournament games will take place in Ohio, New York, Indiana, Texas, Oregon, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California and Illinois, in addition to New Orleans.

Women's games will tip off in Connecticut, North Carolina, Washington and Kansas, in addition to Minnesota.

Players and fans will follow local COVID-19 guidelines in those respective cities. Vaccinated athletes are exempt from NCAA COVID-19 testing.

Arenas are expected to allow full capacity crowds throughout the tournament, compared to their limited allowances in 2021.

Who to watch

Gonzaga, the No. 1 team in the men's basketball Coaches Poll, is the favorite to win the men's national title. No. 5 Kentucky, No. 2 Arizona, No. 7 Duke and No. 3 Baylor are among the other men's favorites.

No. 1 South Carolina, No. 6 UConn, No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 North Carolina State and No. 5 Louisville are among the women's favorites.

Duke's Paolo Banchero, Illinois' Kofi Cockburn, Gozaga's Chet Holmgren and Drew Timme, Kentucky's Oscar Tshiebwe, UCLA's Johnny Juzang, Wisconsin's Johnny Davis and Iowa's Keegan Murray are among the top men's players in the country.

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Mississippi's Shakira Austin, South Carolina's Aliyah Boston and Destanni Henderson, Stanford's Cameron Brink and Haley Jones, Baylor's NaLyssa Smith, Kentucky's Rhyne Howard and UConn's Paige Bueckers are among the top women's players.

Selection Sunday

What: Men's Selection Show

When: 6 p.m. Sunday

TV: CBS

What: Women's Selection Show

When: 8 p.m. Sunday

TV: ESPN

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