A Plan For the Pandemic? NCAA Releases Details On Unprecedented Bubble For 2021 Tournament

Published 01/12/2021, 10:57 AM EST
Jan 2, 2021; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) celebrates with guard Andrew Nembhard (3) after a basket and foul in the first half against the San Francisco Dons at McCarthey Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports


2020’s March Madness was canceled, but College Hoops is currently taking place in full swing, and the NCAA is determined to make the National Championship grander than ever. There are massive details that have come from the association’s official website, which has raised everyone’s expectations! 

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NCAA decides neutral venue for men’s National Championship

As per NCAA.com, the entire men’s championship in 2021 will be held in Indiana. The state will host the national tournament, and a majority of the 67 games will take place in Indianapolis.

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Despite the announcement of a bubble-like structure, the NCAA plans to host the Final Four on the originally scheduled dates April 3 and April 5. 

“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” NCAA President Mark Emmert mentioned.

“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 NBA pulled off a tremendous feat by finishing the 2020 season inside a closed bubble. The NCAA has plans for a similar structure, but not in its entirety. They will partner with a local health provider to facilitate COVID-19 testing and the required health protocols. 

Everything will be complied with as per the social distancing rules, and the NCAA is looking to house all the competing teams at Marriott properties: one of its corporate partners.

Further details about the tournament’s operations

The NCAA has requested permission from the top Universities in Indiana to lead their training facilities for the tournament’s purpose. The ones listed on their website were Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Purdue.

Besides training areas, the University staff will also co-ordinate with NCAA officials and put in the required work to ensure the smooth completion of the National Championship. Furthermore, the below-mentioned arenas have been handed the responsibility of hosting games:

Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

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“The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event,” expressed NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt.

Dec 15, 2020; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Brad Davison (34) passes the ball over Loyola Ramblers forward Aher Uguak (30) during the first half at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

“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,” he further added. 

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College basketball fans will have a packed schedule and the excitement levels are too high to contain. As for television rights, CBS Sports and Turner Sports have been given the duty of broadcasting it across their channels and digital platforms. 

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Arjun Athreya

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Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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