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What Is a Basketball Bracket?

By Contributing Writer

A basketball bracket is normally used during a tournament. The bracket represents all the teams affiliated with the tournament.

Single-elimination bracket

Contestants in this bracket are immediately eliminated after losing a game. Sometimes the losing teams are asked to return to play again for a lower-level placement.

Double-elimination bracket

This bracket allows teams to lose twice before being eliminated. It's broken up into two parts: one part is for teams that have not lost and the other is for teams with one loss. Eventually the last remaining team in the winners bracket will play the last remaining team in the losers bracket.

Triple-elimination bracket

This bracket allows teams to keep playing until they lose three games. This bracket has three sections: upper, center and lower brackets. Winners maintain their spot on the upper bracket and the losers move down through the center and lower brackets.

Do all levels of basketball use them?

Yes. All levels of basketball use brackets. The bracket is a great way to keep track of team records and which teams are scheduled to play each other.


This word refers to predicting who will be the winner of the NCAA basketball tournament that is held annually in March.

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