On Monday, the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee announced that the 2021 NCAA Tournament will be held in one geographic location. The decision was made in an effort to ensure the health and safety of all participants amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament was previously scheduled to be hosted at 13 different sites around the country.
However, now the entirety of the tournament is set to take place in one city. The NCAA is in preliminary discussions with the State of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis to host the tournament there during March and April, according to a statement. Indianapolis was previously scheduled to host the Final Four this year from April 3-5.
“My committee colleagues and I did not come lightly to the difficult decision to relocate the preliminary rounds of the 2021 tournament, as we understand the disappointment 13 communities will feel to miss out on being part of March Madness next year,” Mitch Barnhart, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and University of Kentucky athletics director said.
Having the tournament situated in one city will minimize the amount of travel for the 68 participating teams.
“We have learned so much from monitoring other successful sporting events in the last several months, and it became clear it’s not feasible to manage this complex championship in so many different states with the challenges presented by the pandemic,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball said. “However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”