After the 2020 NCAA Basketball season was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCAA has taken a play out of the NBA playbook and will hold the entire post-season in a single location.
The Hoozier state of Indiana will host all of the March Madness games (67 of them) in an attempt to keep down the possible outbreaks and spikes in the Covid-19 virus.
So far this season, several teams have had to postpone and cancel games due to positive Covid tests.
NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke on the decision saying, “there are a number of world-class facilities in a close location and that was critical because you have to run a large number of games simultaneously that you can manage and control. There were a number of cities that were very interested in hosting this event, but the immediate opportunity to do this in Indianapolis was pretty self-evident for several reasons. For one, we were already going to be there.”
The Final Four games had already been scheduled for Indianapolis.
In a normal year, the March Madness games are scattered about the country in over a dozen locations.
Louisville coach Chris Mack said, “I really don’t care if they play the tournament on Saturn or in Indianapolis.”
Selection Sunday is currently scheduled for March 14 where the 68 post season teams will be announced with the championship game set for early April.
Due to Covid-19 protocols, the NCAA will most likely have fewer games per day in order to give to for cleaning and sanitizing between games. While some family members of players will be allowed inside to see the games, the number of fans allowed in the arenas will be determined according to local mandates. Covid tests will be conducted prior to each game and the teams will have their own designated areas for gathering in their hotels.
Along with the various facilities designed to playing basketball in and around Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Field – home of the Indianapolis Colts – will also have two basketball courts constructed for tournament play.
Evansville, an southern Indiana city just across the Ohio River from Kentucky, will host the Division II championship, while Fort Wayne, in northeastern Indiana, will host the Division III championship.
Similar protocols are expected for the women’s tournament with information being released soon.