INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA announced Monday afternoon that the entire 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball tournament will be played in Indiana.
After “March Madness” was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, the NCAA is creating a “bubble” in order to still put on the large, popular event this year. However, it’s not known if fans will be allowed to attend the games. The NCAA said it will make a final decision at a later date.
The majority of the tournament’s 67 games will take place in Indianapolis, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Some games will be played at Purdue University’s Mackey Arena and Indiana University’s Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall.
The Indiana Convention Center will be used a practice facility, and Marriott — an official NCAA corporate partner — will house most of the teams in its hotels.
“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “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 NCAA will partner with a local health provider to administer COVID-19 testing for players, coaches, administrators and officials. The Marion County Health Department has approved medical protocols, and will continue collaborating with the NCAA leading up to, and during, the tournament.
“Selection Sunday,” the day the bracket and all of the teams are announced, is still scheduled to be March 14. The Final Four, which was already scheduled to be at Lucas Oil Stadium, is still set for April 3, with the National Championship on April 5.
Additionally, the NCAA announced that the entire Division II tournament will be in Evansville, and Fort Wayne will host the entire D-III tournament.
“Indiana is a basketball state, and we’re beyond excited to safely host the 2021 NCAA men’s Division I, II and III basketball championships here,” Governor Eric Holcomb said. “Games will take place around the state – from Evansville to Indianapolis and from West Lafayette to Fort Wayne. With our deep commitment to public health, strong infrastructure and historic facilities, I have no doubt that this year’s tournaments will be among the best we’ve ever seen.”