INDIANAPOLIS — It’s official: Indiana will be the exclusive home to March Madness this season.
The NCAA announced Monday that all rounds of its men's basketball tournament, which includes 68 teams and 67 games, will be played in the Hoosier State.
What You Need To Know
- The NCAA announced Monday that all rounds of its men's basketball touranment will be played in Indiana
- Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium had already been selected to host the Final Four from April 3-5
- Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Purdue University's Mackey Arena and Indiana University's Assembly Hall will also host games
- The NCAA announced in November that it was moving its preliminary-round games from 13 predetermined sites to a single area “to enhance the safety and well-being of the event” during the pandemic
Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium had already been selected to host the Final Four from April 3-5. The NCAA announced in November that it was moving its preliminary-round games from 13 predetermined sites to a single area “to enhance the safety and well-being of the event” during the coronavirus pandemic. College athletics’ governing body said at the time it had entered into talks with Indianapolis to be the lone site of the event. The city is also where the NCAA headquarters is located.
The arenas that will be used are Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Butler University's Hinkle Fieldhouse and Indiana Farmers Coliseum – all located in Indianapolis – as well as Purdue University's Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Indiana University's Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
Ball State, Butler, Indiana, IUPUI, Purdue and the Horizon League will co-host the tournament, and NCAA officials say most games will be played in Indianapolis. The NCAA also will partner with a local health provider to administer COVID-19 testing for players, coaches, school administratofs and officials.
WISH-TV in Indianapolis reported Monday morning that the NCAA will use a “bubble” similar to what the NBA used in Disney World for the conclusion of its regular season and playoffs last year. Under the NBA’s model, players, team personnel and other individuals were sequestered to hotels and playing venues after passing COVID-19 tests, and those people were then prohibited from leaving the bubble except under special circumstances.
Still to be determined is how many fans will be allowed inside the venues.
NCAA officials said a limited number of family members of players and coaches could attend games but decisions about expanding attendance or conducting fan events will be announced later. The pandemic has already canceled scores of college basketball games this season, with postponements and COVID-19 issues nearly a daily occurance.
“This is going to be complicated and difficult; there’s no question about that,” NCAA vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said.
The NCAA canceled its 2020 tournament in March as the virus began spreading rapidly around the U.S. and just as qualifying conference tournaments were being played.
“Last year, we had to rip March Madness away from all the teams and all the fans at the very last minute," NCAA President Mark Emmert said during a video call. “We know it was the right thing to do, but it was a painful thing to do. So we want to deliver this year on the promise of March Madness. They deserve it."
CBS Sports and Turner Sports will continue to distribute all 67 games of the tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV, and their digital platforms.
The preliminary round sites that had been slated to host games this year were Dayton, Ohio; Providence, Rhode Island; Boise, Idaho; Detroit; Dallas; Wichita, Kansas; Lexington, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Jose, California; Minneapolis; Denver; Memphis, Tennessee; and Brooklyn, New York.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.