NCAA in talks to bring all of March Madness to Indianapolis

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS – March Madness may be coming to Indianapolis in a big way.

The NCAA is making plans to hold every game of its 68-team basketball tournament in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

The NCAA had originally planned to hold its earlier-round games at 13 different sites for 2021.

However, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee decided it would be “very difficult” to hold those games in different regions during the pandemic.

The committee is now in preliminary talks with the State of Indiana and city of Indianapolis to host the 68-team tournament around the metropolitan area during coordinated dates in March and April.

Indianapolis was already slated as the host site for the 2021 Final Four.

The committee said the move would conduct the games in a manageable geographic area that limits travel and provides a “safe and controlled environment with competition and practice venues, medical resources and lodging for teams and officials all within proximity of one another.”

“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,” said Mitch Barnhart, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and University of Kentucky athletics director. “With the University of Kentucky slated to host first- and second-round games in March, this is something that directly impacts our school and community, so we certainly share in their regret. The committee and staff deeply appreciate the efforts of all the host institutions and conferences, and we look forward to bringing the tournament back to the impacted sites in future years.”

“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,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball. “However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”

“The committee and staff have thoughtfully monitored the pandemic to develop potential contingency plans,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA President. “The Board of Governors and my top priorities are to protect the health and well-being of college athletes while also maintaining their opportunity to compete at the highest level. These principles have guided the decision-making process as we continue to assess how to have a fair and safe championship experience.”

CBS Sports is scheduled to air the games on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV and their digital platforms.

FORMER 2021 PREDETERMINED SITES (NEXT SCHEDULED YEAR TO HOST AN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND)

First Four — Dayton, OH, March 16-17 (2022-2026 First Four)

First/Second Round —

  • Boise, ID, March 18/20 (None Scheduled)
  • Dallas, TX, March 18/20 (2024 South Regional)
  • Detroit, MI, March 18/20 (2024 Midwest Regional)
  • Providence, RI, March 18/20 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
  • Lexington, KY, March 19/21 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
  • Raleigh, NC, March 19/21 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)
  • San Jose, CA, March 19/21 (2026 West Regional)
  • Wichita, KS, March 19/21 (2025 1st/2nd Rounds)

West Regional — Denver, CO, March 25/27 (2023, 2025 1st/2nd Rounds)

Midwest Regional — Minneapolis, MN, March 25/27 (None Scheduled)

East Regional — Brooklyn, NY, March 26/28 (2024 1st/2nd Rounds)

South Regional — Memphis, TN, March 26/28 (2024 1st/2nd Rounds)

Indiana Sports Corp. issued this statement:

Indiana Sports Corp and its partners are currently working with the NCAA on the possibility of Indy hosting all 67 games of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. We welcome this tremendous opportunity for our city and are confident that we could make this an incredible, and safe experience for all involved.”

Indiana Sports Corp President Ryan Vaughn

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