Entire NCAA Tournament Will Be in and Around Indianapolis
Those of you who are not college basketball fans, or even sports fans, might not appreciate the gut shot I received when last year's NCAA Tournament was cancelled.
It is Christmas in March (and April) for me and it was promising to be one of the more unusual tournaments we'd ever experienced, with teams you don't usually see set for higher bids than there programs had ever received.
But the second week in March of 2020 was the week that the reality of the pandemic came into full view and organizers had no choice but to cancel the event.
The big wake-up call. Uncharted territory. The final frontier.
The cancellation of this magical three-week event wasn't something anyone would have EVER thought was possible under any circumstances. So, when it happened, the pandemic grabbed me by the collar and said, "I'm here. Get used to me."
But that was a costly, albeit necessary, move for the NCAA and one they can't afford to make a second year in a row, prudent as it might be. So the organization had to figure out how to make it happen. And it did.
Talk in November of the possibility, if not likelihood, that the entire tournament would need to take place in one location led all knowing analysts to speculate. And then the talk of Indy BEING that location began.
And now we know. All NCAA Tournament games will be played in and around Indianapolis in 2021.
Instead of teams flying or driving to thirteen locations spread across the country, all sites will be within quick driving distance of Indy. The NCAA will use Bankers Life Fieldhouse (the Indiana Pacers' home court), Lucas Oil Stadium (Final Four site), Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The latter two are the home arenas for Butler University and IUPUI, respectively. Mackey Arena in West Lafayette (Purdue's arena) and Assembly Hall in Bloomington (home of the Indiana Hoosiers) will also host games.
Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament happens Sunday, March 14th with preliminary First Four match-ups set for March 16th and 17th and first round games beginning March 18th and 19th.