It’s official, the entire 2021 NCAA Tournament will take place in the state of Indiana. The discussions of hosting all of March Madness in one state due to the pandemic seem to have been going on for quite some time and on Monday the NCAA announced that every game of the tournament will be hosted in Central Indiana.
Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Purdue’s Mackey Arena, and Indiana University’s Assembly Hall. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis was already scheduled to host the Final Four this year.
— NCAA Final Four (@FinalFour) January 4, 2021
While the move to host every game in one centralized location makes a lot of sense, the NCAA is already getting out in front of the situation publicly admitting that this is going to be a very difficult challenge.
“We’re not naive about how hard this is gonna be,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said, according to the Indy Star. “The pandemic is still very much alive and it’s going to be in March.
“This is going to be complicated and difficult; there’s no question about that,” senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said. 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.”
Gavitt also explained that family members can attend games but a decision on general fan attendance will be made at a later date with local health officials.
After March Madness was canceled in 2020, it goes without saying that college hoops fans are more than excited for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Let’s hope that by the time March rolls around life is somewhat back to normal and some amount of fans will be able to attend tournament games.