Despite missing the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 National College Athletic Association (NCAA) is kicking off this March 18, 2021. It will be the 82nd edition of March Madness, highlighting the Division 1 collegiate men’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA is one of the most celebrated sports games that every college hoops and troops were unable to see last year.
According to the NCAA Vice President Dan Gavitt, the NCAA will have a different procedure this year. One of the changes is no longer taking the eliminations at fourteen different locations like the past editions. Apart from that, the seeding process is a bit shorter while they hold a controlled environment for safety purposes.
Although the 2021 March Madness season is quite different since its last appearance in 2019, the betting games, like the MVP race wagering, remain the same. If you are one of those NCAA fans who’s excited to see what this sporting event is in-store this season, here are the FAQs you must get covered.
Is There A March Madness Bubble?
Like the NHL and NBA, the bubble takes place weeks before the regular NCAA takes place. However, the March Madness organization might not follow the whole bubble format. Instead, they will make a “controlled environment” where they make decisions about the venue practices, the player’s scheduled travel, and the playing field.
Apart from that, the NCCA announced the final venue is at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana. But, according to Gavitt, the decision is not yet final whether all games are settling at this location. Changes might still happen depending on the needs of the scheduled event during the seeding process.
Why Is Indianapolis The Selected Host City?
The 2021 Final Four was supposed to occur on this site. However, last year’s event was canceled, so the NCAA organization had to continue using this venue, which was also the 2010 Final Four location. Not only that, Indianapolis is where the NCCA gets headquartered, so it’s easier for the team to gather all the participating colleges in one venue.
Placing the 2021 March Madness in Indiana will easily help them prepare meals, venues, hotels, and infirmaries. Until the COVID-19 is contained, the NCAA is still observing health protocols to all staff and participants.
Will There Still Be 68 Teams?
The 2021 NCAA will still highlight the 68 participating teams. It aims to give a chance to all the groups earning the title who missed the action-packed show last year. Besides that, it will follow the same seeding and scheduling format, which is initiated by the First Four. Also, the NCAA is looking to establish replacement teams if some of the groups aren’t going to make it.
Will The 2021 NCAA Begins On The Same Timeframe?
All participants have produced their full schedules and should be ready for Selection Sunday, which happens on March 14, 2021. However, the regular games won’t start right away after the selection date.
Apart from that, the four-game format is no longer followed in each site this season. According to the NCAA, only two games are happening during the opening day. It will allow them to follow the cleaning and distance mandate as per the health protocols imposed.
Which Cities Are Losing Tournament Sites?
Initially, the 2021 NCAA would like to make the tournaments in fourteen sites. But, given that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet contained, there will only be a single venue to head on to. Dayton has been the site where the First Four and Opening Rounds take place. But today, Dayton is missing that March Madness trend.
Other sites like Detroit, Boise, Providence, Raleigh, Wichita, and Kentucky will also lose their tournaments. Regional sites like Memphis, Brooklyn, Minneapolis, and Denver will also be unable to hold the NCAA’s most important games this season.
Are The Fans Allowed At The Venue?
Audience participation is not yet final as per the NCAA organization. However, the team is looking to discuss spectators’ needs in the venue but will have to undergo a stricter sanitation process before entering the venue. There is no definite as to when the NCAA will come up with a confirmation that audiences will be allowed, but it gets to announce weeks before the opening date.
To give everyone an idea, once audiences are allowed, it will only house 25% seating capacity. Perhaps, stringent social distancing will be observed, and tickets might come pricey because it is sold in limited numbers.
Like the NBA, NFL, and NHL, the NCAA is one of the most anticipated sporting events happening in the U.S. Collegiate basketball teams will now have the chance to show what they’ve got after missing the season last year. As you head on to an entirely different NCAA format this season, make sure to get covered by the information outlined above to know how the full event occurs.