The NCAA Tournament will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana.
It’s the first time that the March Madness college basketball tournament has taken place since the NCAA canceled last year’s tournament.
The NCAA swiftly acted last year after the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball temporarily limited locker room access to players and essential staff and the Italian Olympic Committee announced that all sporting events would be suspended.
“What concerns me about no fans at sporting events, they still have to go to work,” NBA Hall of Famer and TV analyst Charles Barkley told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson last year before March Madness was canceled.
“They still have to be walking around in the world. They don’t go to a sports venue, but they still have to live their lives.”
The NBA eventually shut down their season and resumed it in the bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Fast Forward to 2021, the NBA like MLB and the WNBA have been progressing with their leagues with updated precautions such as limited or no attendance in their respective markets.
Now it’s college basketball’s turn.
Their model will be similar for March Madness. The men’s tournament bracket will be announced Sunday, March 14 at 6 p.m. The women’s bracket will be revealed Monday, March 15 at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship began going on sale today with the tournament allowing up to 25 percent capacity with physical distancing at the games.
According to NBC affiliate WTHR in Indiana, the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will tip-off with their first four games on Thursday, March 18. The entire tournament will be in Indiana, with 55 of the 67 games taking place in Indianapolis.
Worth noting: Attendance at each game will depend on the size of the venue. That 25 percent capacity is for all rounds and the Final Four, and it includes all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches, and a reduced number of fans.
NCAA basketball’s March Madness is like Christmas morning for basketball fans.
Minus the Christmas tree and stockings, of course, there’s constant packed action, game-time food, and maybe some friends and drinks for the truly dedicated.
So who’s the go-to for this year’s March Madness tournament? If you’re looking to get the best opportunities to come out on top in your tournament brackets, Sports Betting Dime suggests that the more research you can do on each team, their rosters, and how they fared in the regular season, the better.
Big Ten Network’s Andy Katz who also doubles as a college basketball correspondent for the NCAA recently suggested that Gonzaga, Michigan, Illinois and Baylor could be No.1 seeds within this year’s tournament.
Per Katz: The changes coincide with Michigan passing Baylor in the AP poll to reach the No. 2 overall rankings, with the Bears at No. 3, and Illinois climbing to No. 4.
Gonzaga, Michigan and Baylor are also the top three teams in the NET rankings, as of March 1.
If those predicted seeds are to hold, then the Big Ten could join an exclusive club of conferences that had multiple No. 1 seeds in the same NCAA tournament. Meanwhile, Gonzaga is attempting to take an undefeated record into Selection Sunday.