2021 March Madness Tournament
While football has its not so beloved College Football Playoffs, NCAA basketball on the other hand never seems to disappoint with their March Madness tournament.
College sports are known to be just as popular as professional sports for this yearly event the NCAAB fans are already getting their hands on the march madness odds all around. With both football and basketball taking the helm of popularity, you know that when the Championship tournaments come around, everything takes on a whole new meaning. While 2020 can be considered the most abnormal year for sports ever, with 2021 rolling around it’s time to get ready for a new edition of the March Madness tournament, one that will have another main stage player in it, the Coronavirus Pandemic.
COVID Stopped 2020’s Madness But Not 2021’s
The global coronavirus pandemic came into the world to get rid of anybody and everybody’s plans for 2020. While professional sports leagues around the world saw their tournaments being either postponed or altogether cancelled college sports, most importantly college basketball was not the exception. The ongoing pandemic caused the cancellation of last year’s March Madness tournament as well as the stopping of activity for many college basketball programs across the country.
For 2021 the NCAA decided to fight back against the virus and its doings and give college basketball fans what they wanted back badly, the thrilling emotions of their Championship tournament back. It was decided by NCAA officials that for 2021 there will be a March Madness tournament, where the vast majority of the 67 games will be hosted in Indiana. Indianapolis was already scheduled to hold the Final Four tournament from April 3-5 so it’s only fitting that to ensure the players, coaches and staffers health and safety for the tournament to be played in its entirety in the state of Indiana.
There has been criticism though for how this season and its incumbent tournament has come to shape with different voices from the college basketball circuits voicing out their concerns about the forcing of the season to start too early and the over stacking of games to be able to go through with the March Madness tournament. While more trans
Safety First, Thrilling Basketball A Close Second
The decision to have Indiana host the premier college basketball tournament came as an easy one for NCAA authorities as it became more and more apparent given the general scope of the pandemic still in full helm that holding the tournament in 13 cities spread across the country would be extremely difficult to execute. Officials from different college basketball programs across the country have been very vocal about having the NCAA truly put forward the best efforts possible to ensure the health and well-being both physical and mental of the athletes in a season that has been everything but normal with COVID scares being an everyday issue. Using the example of the bubble style tournaments executed by both the NBA and WNBA were big influences in the decision to host the March Madness tournament in Indianapolis.
The idea of a bubble style tournament had already been traced out by Indiana sporting authorities as well as local public health professionals which are touted to be some of the nation’s top experts in said matters. All games would be played in closed quarters and without the attendance of fans until further actions towards securing the health and safety of attendees can be fully guaranteed like the case with professional sports leagues like the NFL and NBA. Indianapolis has already hosted eight Final Four tournaments giving the city a stellar reputation for being used as the place for March Madness to happen during these pandemic times.
How, When and Where?
As decided by NCAA officials tournament games are set to start on March 14th with the traditional “Selection Sunday'' and going on until April 5th when the Final Four Championship game is set to be played. Games will be played in different arenas across the city of Indianapolis including Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts where one game will be played, as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, house of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, Butler University’s Hinkle FieldHouse, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Purdue University’s Mackey Arena and Indiana’s Assembly Hall.
The Indiana Convention Center will be used primarily as a practice facility and Marriott properties will take care of the housing for the tournament teams with special health and safety protocol measures being put into place to be able to go through with the tournament.