NCAA finalizes plans to play all of March Madness in Indiana

March 7, 2020, at UD: Video highlights

Four facilities in Indianapolis will be among the six sites for games

If any local teams earn berths in the NCAA tournament this season, they won’t have to travel far to play.

The NCAA finalized plans to play all 67 games in the 2021 NCAA tournament in Indiana in March and April on Monday. The news of that decision first broke in November when Dayton learned it wouldn’t get to host the First Four.

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“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a press 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 tournament field will be announced March 14. The dates of the preliminary round dates have not been announced, while the dates of the Final Four remain unchanged: April 3 and 5. A limited number of family members of players and coaches will be allowed to attend the games, though the number of tickets available for other fans could change depending on the state of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Games will be played at six different locations in Indiana: Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse and Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis; Mackey Arena in West Lafayette; and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. There will be two courts at Lucas Oil Stadium, but only one game will be played there at a time.

Teams will practice on multiple courts at the Indiana Convention Center. The staffs of Ball State, Butler, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue will assist with tournament operations. The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside the venue.

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“Marriott properties, an official NCAA corporate partner, will house most of the tournament teams,” the NCAA announced. “The properties are connected to the convention center via skywalks and within a controlled environment. All teams will be housed on dedicated hotel floors, with physically distanced meeting and dining rooms, as well as secure transportation to and from competition venues.

“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. “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.

“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 staffs at each practice and competition venue, and our broadcast and corporate partners. We will all pull together and stage a terrific national championship.”

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