March Madness is taking a page out of the NBA’s book and trying their best to create a bubble environment for its prized jewel — the NCAA Tournament.
On Monday, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced the entire 2021 NCAA Tournament will be held at one central, geographic location.
🚨 #MarchMadness Update 🚨
The 2021 NCAA Tournament will be held in one geographic area.
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) November 16, 2020
The Committee is in conversations with the State of Indiana about using Indianapolis as the sole sight for the post-season games. Indianapolis was already slated to host the Men’s Final Four from April 3-5, 2021, but could now potentially play host to all 68 teams.
The NCAA decided to scrap the typical layout of 13 host sites in order to enhance safety and limit travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an official release from the NCAA, the decision to get rid of 13 NCAA host sites was not an easy one.
“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 discussions with the State of Indiana remain ongoing.