The NCAA Men's Championships have changed formats many times throughout the 65 year history. Here are the differences in number of teams from season to season.

  1. 1939-1950: 8 teams
  2. 1951-1952: 16 teams
  3. 1953-1974: 24 teams (sometimes 22-25 teams)
  4. 1975-1978: 32 teams
  5. 1979: 40 teams
  6. 1980-1982: 48 teams
  7. 1983: 52 teams (four play-in games before the tournament)
  8. 1984: 53 teams
  9. 1985-2000: 64 teams (in 1991 three play-in games before the tournament)
  10. 2001-present : 65 teams (with a play-in game to determine whether the 64th or 65th team plays in the first round)
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