When does March Madness start? Tipoff date for men’s & women’s tournaments, NIT

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

Now that college football’s national signing day is over, it’s finally time to wonder, when does March Madness start?

College sports fans love to move from one big event from another but one of the things that makes March Madness so good is that it’s not one day. It really is about a month’s worth of really great games and all sorts of drama. Hence the madness.

So when does March Madness start? Most people agree that the official start is when the conference tournaments begin.

When Does March Madness Start, Tipoff Dates For Men’s And Women’s Tournaments

Weirdly enough, March Madness kicks off for a couple of conferences in February. The men’s basketball tournaments for the Sun Belt, Patriot League, Horizon, and ASUN start on February 27 or 28. The rest of conference tournaments in the men’s games start no later than March 1. The “power” conferences such as the Big Ten start on March 8. The absolute latest day any conference tips off its tournament is March 9.

The women’s conference tournaments are going to run along the same kind of schedule. Sometimes it’s identical, sometimes it’s a few days off. For instance, while Hoiberg’s Heroes will tip off the Big Ten Tournament on March 8, Amy Williams’ squad will start their conference tournament a week earlier.

When Does The NCAA Tournament and NITs Start?

Once the conference tournaments really get rolling, then March Madness goes into full swing. For the men’s game, the NCAA Tournament starts its first games on March 14. That’s a Tuesday and just two days after selection Sunday. The women’s NCAA tournament starts a day later on March 15.

The NCAA Tournament runs all the way through the end of the month and finishes off on April 3. The women’s tournament ends a day earlier, on April 2. So Nebraska basketball fans should plan to be following their teams all the way into April right?

This year, the men’s NIT tournament basically starts right alongside the NCAA Tournament. The first games will tip off on March 14. The women’s NIT tips off quite a bit later as it won’t begin until March 24.

What is clear with all of these dates is that March Madness is going to be full of fun yet again.