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NCAA Basketball

'First Four' round added to next year's Final Four

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The NCAA decided to add a new round to next year's NCAA Tournament when the field expands to 68 teams. (Photo: NCAA) The NCAA decided to add a new round to next year's NCAA Tournament when the field expands to 68 teams. (Photo: NCAA)

By CLIFF BRUNT
AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA has decided to add a new round to the NCAA men's basketball tournament next year, when the field expands to 68 teams.

The men's basketball committee announced its plans Monday to four early games, with the winners earning their way into the 64-team second round.

There has been only one early game since 2001, when the field expanded to 65 teams. Two of the so-called "First Four" games will match the lowest seeds, between 65 and 68. The other two games will include the last four at-large qualifiers. That should prevent mid-majors from being over-represented in the first-round games, and it probably means teams from BCS conferences will be playing for the right to get to the second round.

The dates and locations for the first-round games will be announced later. All games will be on Turner Broadcasting's truTV cable channel.  

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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