NEED TO KNOW
• “First Four” comprised of four first-round games to tip off the Road to Houston, to be broadcast nationally on Turner’s truTV as part of the new NCAA-Turner/CBS broadcast agreement.
• Two first-round games to feature showdowns between teams playing for two of the No. 16 seeds.
• Two first-round games to feature the last four of the 37 at-large teams selected to the tournament.
• First time in tournament history that the last at-large team will be revealed.

Turner Sports, in conjunction with the NCAA, has launched of a series of interactive initiatives to promote the inaugural National Bracket Day on Monday. The day is designated to celebrate the upcoming NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and urge fans to fill out their brackets before the first round of the tournament begins Tuesday on truTV.

The nationwide National Bracket Day outreach will feature a deployment of street teams distributing brackets in major markets and on key college basketball campuses around the country, expert tips on a live one-hour bracket special on March Madness on Demand (MMOD) on NCAA.com and a larger-than-life Bracket Lounge inside New York’s Time Warner Center that will serve as the epicenter for National Bracket Day. Brackets and expert breakdowns of each region will also be available online via NCAA.com, SI.com and CBSSports.com.

“National Bracket Day is a rallying cry to fans of one of the most exciting and participatory sporting events of the year to use their time on March 14 wisely before the celebration of March Madness tips off the following day,” said Christina Miller, senior vice president of Turner Sports strategy, marketing and programming.

“Creating a day where fans can debate the fate of their teams as they complete their brackets and celebrate the 68 schools and student-athletes who made it into the tournament is a great way to kick off March Madness,” said Greg Shaheen, interim executive vice president for championships and alliances.

National Bracket Day activities include:

Major Market / College Campus Street Teams
• Street teams will be dispatched in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and on college campuses including Duke University, University of Kansas, San Diego State University and Ohio State University.

MMOD Live Show on NCAA.com
• A live one-hour show (noon-1 p.m. ET) with host Jason Horowitz, analyst Marques Johnson and social media correspondent Kaylee Hartung previewing the tournament and its matchups with special guest analysts to join.

Bracket Lounge at Time Warner Center in New York
• Opening on Tuesday – and continuing until the conclusion of the Sweet 16 on March 25 – the Bracket Lounge will serve as a hub for fans to follow the tournament. The lounge will feature four large screen TVs showing the tournament, eight computer kiosks for access to NCAA.com, March Madness On Demand and bracket games, updated brackets, interactive basketball shooting games and photo opportunities with virtual images of CBS Sports and Turner announcers.

Also on National Bracket Day, the Bracket Lounge will host a special celebrity panel featuring a cross-section of people with college basketball interests including HLN’s Jane Valez-Mitchell, who will serve as the host, along with Turner Sports and CBS Sports studio analyst Charles Barkley, among others. This group will converge to discuss their thoughts on the tournament and tips for fans in attendance on filling out brackets.

Through a new 14-year agreement with the NCAA, beginning in 2011 Turner Sports and CBS Sports will make available live in their entirety every game from the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across four national television networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.

The NCAA strongly believes college sports should be appreciated for the benefits related to the participation of student-athletes, coaches and institutions in fair contests, and not the amount of money wagered on the outcome of the competition.

Related:
What's new in 2011?
Turner, CBS to air all of NCAA tourney
CBS, Turner combine talent rosters