March Madness 2021 will be contained to two sites: Indianapolis and your TV
The NCAA is in talks with Indianapolis to host the entirety of the 2021 NCAA Tournament there.
Indianapolis had already been in line to host the 2021 Final Four, which is scheduled for April 3-5.
The move, obviously, is aimed at getting ahead of COVID-19.
“My committee colleagues and I did not come lightly to the difficult decision to relocate the preliminary rounds of the 2021 tournament, as we understand the disappointment 13 communities will feel to miss out on being part of March Madness next year,” said Mitch Barnhart, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and University of Kentucky athletics director.
The plan seems to be to hold the tournament at different arenas in the Indianapolis metro area. The goal is to limit travel and provide a safe, controlled environment in terms of practice and game venues and lodging.
“We have learned so much from monitoring other successful sporting events in the last several months, and it became clear it’s not feasible to manage this complex championship in so many different states with the challenges presented by the pandemic,” NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said. “However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”
“The committee and staff have thoughtfully monitored the pandemic to develop potential contingency plans,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “The Board of Governors and my top priorities are to protect the health and well-being of college athletes while also maintaining their opportunity to compete at the highest level. These principles have guided the decision-making process as we continue to assess how to have a fair and safe championship experience.”
Story by Chris Graham