The NCAA announced on Monday it will hold the entire 2021 men’s basketball tournament in Indiana, with a majority of the 67 games taking place in Indianapolis.
“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “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.”
The tournament will be hosted by Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, IUPUI and Purdue. It will be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, as well as Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. There will be two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, but only one game will be played at a time.
The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside. Marriott, which has several properties connected to the convention center via skywalks, will house most of the tournament teams, with each staying on a dedicated floor that have physically distanced meeting and dining rooms.
The NCAA will partner with a local health provider to administer coronavirus testing for players, coaches, administrators and officials.
“The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event,” said NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt. “With the direction of the men’s basketball committee, we are making the most of the circumstances the global pandemic has presented. We’re fortunate to have neighbors and partners in Indianapolis and surrounding communities who not only love the game of basketball as much as anyone else in the country but have a storied history when it comes to staging major sporting events.
“This is going to be complicated and difficult; there’s no question about that. We appreciate the collaboration among the men’s basketball committee and staff, our hosts and local organizers, the staffs at each practice and competition venue, and our broadcast and corporate partners. We will all pull together and stage a terrific national championship.”
Selection Sunday remains scheduled for March 14, as does the Final Four on April 3 and 5. Preliminary-round dates are to-be-determined.
It’s unclear if fans will be able to attend the tournament, which will be broadcast live by CBS Sports and Turner Sports across its CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV platforms, though a limited number of family members will be permitted to attend their team’s games.
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