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The 2021 NCAA Tournament will be staged in Indiana for the entire year. The March Madness will resume in six venues. (Photo : William Mancebo/Getty Images)
The long wait is over for the 2021 NCAA tournament, and the location has already been set. The March Madness is now decided after the 2021 NCAA tournament was agreed to be staged entirely in Indiana.
2021 NCAA Tournament Will Fly to Indiana
On Monday, the NCAA chose Indianapolis to host the men’s basketball tournament for the entire year. As per CBS Sports, there are six venues where the 68 teams will clash in a 67-game schedule for 2021.
The schedule for Selection Sunday will be on March 14. The Final Four will be scheduled on April 3 and April 5. The date for the preliminary round is still being decided.
For Mark Emmert, the President of the NCAA, the hosting of Indiana was a historic moment for the state and the entire organization.
“We have worked tirelessly to reimagine a tournament structure that maintains our unique championship opportunity for college athletes. The reality of today’s announcement was possible thanks to the tremendous leadership of our membership, local authorities, and staff,” Emmert said in a statement.
The men’s basketball March Madness will be organized by six hosts, Horizon League, Butler University, Purdue University, Ball State University, IUPUI, and Indiana University. The hosts’ facilities and staff will be helping the NCAA in operating the basketball venue, management, and key areas for the participants.
For the athletes’ practice facility, the Indiana Convention Center will serve its purpose as a training ground. The multiple courts inside the establishment will be the home of the guests during their shooting sessions.
Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Purdue’s Mackey Arena, Indiana’s Assembly Hall, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the two basketball courts inside the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium will be the locations of the basketball games.
As the COVID-19 continues to hamper the sports events, the NCAA declared its partnership with the local health provider. The collaboration will provide COVID-19 testing for the basketball players, staff, and other officials.
The NCAA also said that the Marion County Health Department had given them the approval to operate, given their compliance with the safety protocols.
The announcement of the location was dated back on November 16, 2020. The NCAA pushed the proposal to improve the tournament camaraderie and, at the same time, to strengthen the safety campaign on COVID-19. The decision for the tournament to happen in Indianapolis was already finalized at that time.
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Previously, the NCAA arranged the deal to launch the March Madness in 13 tentative locations in the country. However, the committee considered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, should that plan pushes through. So they decided to resume it in one location.
Furthermore, the committee explained that staging the tournament in a single location will mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposures. A controlled venue for the tournament is more suitable for the college players to avoid long travels when visiting other teams.
The relocation of the 2021 NCAA tournament took place from November 10 to November 25 after several postponements plagued the continuation of the 2020 NCAA tournament.
In March last season, 132 men’s basketball games and 81 women’s basketball games were forced to stop at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coach Kara Lawson of the Duke women’s basketball strongly agreed that the Duke should not be playing at the time of the pandemic. That was in early December of 2020 when she made a statement. A day later, Mike Krzyzewski criticized NCAA on its decision to resume playing basketball despite the pandemic.
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