The NCAA made official Monday its plan to host the entire 2021 men’s basketball tournament in and around Indianapolis. Details have not yet been announced, but here is what is known so far about the impact of this move, including the schedule of events, locations and health and safety protocols. ESPN reporters Jeff Borzello, John Gasaway and Myron Medcalfe reviewed the details of the announcement.
What are the dates for the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament? Are they compatible with the planned dates?
The NCAA Tournament should now announce the number of participants on the originally scheduled date and the Final Four will be held on the originally scheduled date. Nothing is defined between them. The question is how long it will take for teams to travel to Indianapolis, get tested and quarantine themselves before the first game. But Selection Sunday is still scheduled for March 14, and the Final Four is still scheduled for March 3 and 5. April is expected. That’s all we know for now. — Jeff Borzello
Has the NCAA selected multiple teams for the 2021 tournament?
There are no indications that the NCAA wants to reduce the number of teams to 68. And Monday’s NCAA announcement specifically listed 67 games – meaning there are 68 additional teams in contention for the tournament. — Borzello.
Error! The file name is not specified. The NCAAhas announced plans to hold a men’s basketball tournament with a single site in Indiana. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The NCAA announced Monday that Indianapolis and the surrounding area will be the only host city for the tournament. What facilities are likely to be used in and around Indy?
Six sites will host the games. There are two fields at Lucas Oil Stadium, but only one game is played at a time. Bankers Life Fieldhouse (home of the NBA Indiana Pacers), Hinkle Fieldhouse (Butler), Indiana Farmers Coliseum (IUPUI), Mackey Arena (Purdue) and Assembly Hall (Indiana) are five other venues where the games will be held. The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a training center. — Borzello.
When was the last NCAA tournament held on campus?
In 1981 the games took place in the auditorium. Mackey Arena did it in 1980. — John Gasaway
Will this affect the selection criteria for the 2021 tournament compared to previous NCAA tournaments?
The process leading up to Sunday’s selection could be more normal than expected. Just before the format of the 2021 NCAA Tournament was announced, the NCAA released its first NET Rankings for 2020-21. With the exception of Colgate 1-1 (16th), enough games have been played to make the standings look solid: Gonzaga, Baylor, Tennessee, Illinois and Villanova are in the top five. While the Commission will likely point out that this is a different year, the overall selection may be remarkably similar to previous years. — Gasaway
Should the NCAA consider replacing a team when an outbreak of violence eliminates the team? How does it work?
NCAA men’s tournament spokesman David Warlock said Monday that details regarding possible replacement teams and procedures for positive tests are still being discussed.
Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Operations for basketball, mentioned this possibility last summer, but has not provided details on the concept since. We understand that the NCAA plans to host Selection Sunday and the Final Four on the originally scheduled dates. But it did not announce any decision on the procedures to be followed when a player, employee, coach, official or any other person tests positive. Will there be liquidated damages? Will the matches be rescheduled? This last point seems hard to imagine, since the NCAA seems to be sticking to the current schedule.
No official said one way or the other, but it makes sense that selecting reserve teams is good insurance for tournament officials, especially in the beginning. For the basketball tournament, the first basketball event to experience a pandemic, most of the reserve teams on standby were deployed before the event began. — Myron Medcalfe
What health and safety information is provided in this case?
The Marion County Department of Health has approved the medical protocols shared by the NCAA. According to an announcement Monday, the NCAA is working with a local healthcare provider to conduct COVID-19 testing for players, coaches, administrators and officials.
In terms of logistics, the NCAA’s partnership with Marriott Properties will play an important role. It is expected that most of the tournament teams will be housed at the Marriott, and these facilities are connected to the Indiana Convention Center (where the teams will train) by skywalks. The NCAA announced Monday that all teams will be housed on designated hotel floors and will travel by secure transportation from the hotel to the venues. — Borzello.
What are the concerns about the single target?
Most of the coaches I’ve talked to about the NCAA One Way Tournament are just excited. The cancellation of this sport last year had a devastating effect on everyone. It’s the biggest sports tournament. And while traveling to different places with an arena full of fans is obviously more ideal, it’s a safer option. Everyone understands that the sport cannot afford to cancel a second NCAA tournament in a row, not only to reward the players, but also for the future health of the NCAA, given the billions in revenue the event generates. — Borzello.
Do supporters have to enter the stands at these matches?
Final decisions regarding non-family members have not yet been made. Starting Monday: The NCAA is closely monitoring the current pandemic and will continue to work with local authorities to determine whether fans can attend games at any location, although a limited number of family members of student-athletes and coaches from each participating team will be allowed to attend their team’s games. The NCAA handles most of the television contract for the NCAA Tournament, so securing the tournament is higher on the priority list than fan attendance. — Borzello.
Should the NCAA women’s tournament follow the same pattern as the men’s tournament in the same location?
In December, the NCAA announced it was in talks with San Antonio to host the NCAA women’s tournament with a destination. It is still scheduled to be a 64-team tournament with a schedule similar to previous NCAA tournaments. Incarnate Word, Texas San Antonio and the San Antonio Spurs will host the Final Four in 2021. — Borzello.
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