NCAA President Mark Emmert has announced that the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament will be played entirely in Indiana. All of the tournament's events will be spread out between Indianapolis, West Lafayette and Bloomington. The majority of teams will live and practice in the Indiana Convention Center. All things will ultimately come to a close during the first weekend of April as the Final Four is held in Lucas Oil Stadium. By bringing all of the tournament's events to one state, NCAA leadership hopes to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak.
"This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana," NCAA President Mark Emmert said.
"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."
An unnamed local health partner will work to test all players, staffers, coaches and officials for the coronavirus during March and April. The NCAA has not yet explained how often participants will be tested for the virus. Organizers have also indicated that a limited group of family members will be able to attend games, but the NCAA has not stated if they will be tested as well.
"The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event," NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said.
"With the direction of the men's basketball committee, we are making the most of the circumstances the global pandemic has presented. We're fortunate to have neighbors and partners in Indianapolis and surrounding communities who not only love the game of basketball as much as anyone else in the country but have a storied history when it comes to staging major sporting events."
Selection Sunday is set for March 14 and the tournament will start the following week.
Photo Credit: Getty Images