The entire 2021 NCAA men's basketball tournament will take place in three locations in the state of Indiana, the NCAA announced in a release Monday.
The majority of the 67-game slate will take place in Indianapolis. Host sites for the tournament include Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium, Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler) and Indiana Farmers Coliseum (IUPUI) in Indianapolis. The University of Indiana's Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington and Purdue’s Mackey Arena in West Lafayette will also host games.
Selection Sunday is still scheduled for March 14, with the Final Four and national championship taking place April 3 and 5, respectively. The exact dates for the early rounds will be announced at a later date, the release said.
“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in the release. “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 release said the NCAA will partner with a local healthcare provider to test players, coaches, administrators and officials for COVID-19 in the controlled environment. The NCAA will also work with the Marion County Health Department to determine medical protocols.
Housing will be provided by Marriott properties, which is an official corporate sponsor of the NCAA. The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with the housing properties connected to game sites via skywalks.
“The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event,” said NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt in the release. “This is going to be complicated and difficult; there’s no question about that."
"We appreciate the collaboration among the Men’s Basketball Committee and staff, our hosts and local organizers, the staff at each practice and competition venue, and our broadcast and corporate partners," Gavitt continued. "We will all pull together and stage a terrific national championship.”