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NCAA will hold entire 2021 Tournament in one location, likely Indianapolis

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 16, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A large banner displaying the NCAA Mens Basketball Championship bracket is on the front of the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

MAJOR news from the NCAA. The organization just announced that due to the coronavirus pandemic, the entire 2021 NCAA Tournament will be held in one geographical location instead of the 13 preliminary round sites across the country. That location is likely Indianapolis, which was already slated to be the site of the 2021 Final Four and includes several venues, such as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and, of course, Lucas Oil Stadium. Rupp Arena was scheduled to host the First and Second Rounds in 2021. As previously announced, Lexington will host the First and Second Rounds in 2025.

UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, and NCAA Senior Vice President Dan Gavitt explained the decision on a Zoom call with Andy Katz this morning:

Here is the official release:

In recent weeks, the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has engaged in a thorough contingency planning process to determine the most effective way to conduct a safe and healthy March Madness for all participants for the 2021 championship. Through these discussions, it became apparent to the committee that conducting the championship at 13 preliminary round sites spread throughout the country would be very difficult to execute in the current pandemic environment. The committee has decided the championship should be held in a single geographic area to enhance the safety and well-being of the event.

As a result, NCAA staff are in preliminary talks with the State of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis to potentially host the 68-team tournament around the metropolitan area during the coordinated dates in March and April.  Indianapolis was already slated to host the Men’s Final Four from April 3-5, 2021.

“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. “With the University of Kentucky slated to host first- and second-round games in March, this is something that directly impacts our school and community, so we certainly share in their regret. The committee and staff deeply appreciate the efforts of all the host institutions and conferences, and we look forward to bringing the tournament back to the impacted sites in future years.”

The committee emphasized the importance of conducting the championship in a manageable geographic area that limits travel and provides a safe and controlled environment with competition and practice venues, medical resources and lodging for teams and officials all within proximity of one another.

“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,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball. “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,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA President. “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.”

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will continue to distribute all 67 games of the tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV and their digital platforms.

FORMER 2021 PREDETERMINED SITES

(NEXT SCHEDULED YEAR TO HOST AN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND)

First Four Dayton, OH, March 16-17 (2022-2026 First Four)
First/Second Round Boise, ID, March 18/20 (None Scheduled)
Dallas, TX, March 18/20 (2024 South Regional)
Detroit, MI, March 18/20 (2024 Midwest Regional)
Providence, RI, March 18/20 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
Lexington, KY, March 19/21 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
Raleigh, NC, March 19/21 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
San Jose, CA, March 19/21 (2026 West Regional)
Wichita, KS, March 19/21 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
West Regional Denver, CO, March 25/27 (2023, 2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
Midwest Regional Minneapolis, MN, March 25/27 (None Scheduled)
East Regional Brooklyn, NY, March 26/28 (2024 1st/2nd Rounds)
South Regional Memphis, TN, March 26/28 (2024 1st/2nd Rounds)

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

12 Comments for NCAA will hold entire 2021 Tournament in one location, likely Indianapolis



  1. mashman 93
    11:59 am November 16, 2020 Permalink

    I’ll take it



  2. UKFanSC
    12:15 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

    I’ll be happy if we can just have an uninterrupted season



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      1:01 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

      No kidding, but you know that’s not possible with all the football games that are still being canceled or postponed. If we can crown a natty I’ll be happy…as long as it’s not Duke…or UCLA…or UNCheat…or IU…or……………………………….
      😉



  3. friendsofcoal
    1:33 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

    That makes a lot of sense. Instead of spreading people around all over the country….let’s pack them all into one city!!! Great idea from the smartest organization in America! LMAO



    • Han
      1:40 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

      It has more to do with only having one state/city/company’s rules to abide by–remember why the Champions Classic moved? Further, with certain states being less careful, this cuts down on chance of an outbreak in one region screwing it all up. Lastly, the NBA bubble worked, while mlb and college football have been scheduling messes, so doing this was always likely.



    • Bluehender
      2:16 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

      Maybe the virus will “just go away “by then friends..



    • friendsofcoal
      5:04 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

      That would be nice but I’m afraid that the more the GOP digs into this voting scam the worse the virus is gonna get. Lol



    • Bluehender
      8:10 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

      They missed the scam by about 4 years..



    • friendsofcoal
      10:45 pm November 16, 2020 Permalink

      Which one was that? As long as we have voting going on the way it is today then it will always be a scam and I’m talking both ways. Until we have in person voting only, show ID, signature, and computer spits the results out the second the polls close it will always be a scam. It’s 2020 and we’ve got cars driving themselves…no reason to be counting paper ballots period! I’m iffy on Trump vs Clinton but NO WAY Biden beat Trump…NO WAY!



    • Bluehender
      7:00 am November 17, 2020 Permalink

      Lol



    • Bluehender
      7:26 am November 17, 2020 Permalink

      There was no scam. If you can’t see how unlikable Trump is then I don’t know can be done for you..



    • friendsofcoal
      2:37 pm November 17, 2020 Permalink

      Really!? If you can’t see what a criminal scum bag that Biden and his family are then not a damn thing can be done for you. Do you honestly believe that the vote counts are correct, honestly? If you do then you’re in real bad shape. Wisconsin 90+% turnout?? Come on man. I’ll respect whoever our president is but it should be fair when it comes to our election!