March Madness games to be played in Indiana to prevent pandemic-related cancellation
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All 67 games in the men’s March Madness basketball tournament will be played in Indiana this year to avoid COVID-19 spread and cancellations, the NCAA announced Monday.

Organizers said the majority of the games will be played in Indianapolis to prevent a second straight cancellation of the annual tournament.

The 2021 games will be played one at a time at Indianapolis locations like Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, as well as Mackey Arena at Purdue University in West Lafayette and Assembly Hall at Indiana University in Bloomington.


Selection Sunday is scheduled for March 14, with the semifinals on April 3 and the championship on April 5.

The NCAA said it will work with a local health provider to manage COVID-19 testing for players, coaching staffs, administrators and officials during the tournament.

Ball State, Butler, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue will serve as host schools for March Madness, along with the Horizon League, which will host the games at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Teams will be permitted to practice at the Indiana Convention Center, and Marriott properties will house the teams, the NCAA said.

“This is a historic moment for NCAA members and the state of Indiana,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “We have worked tirelessly to reimagine a tournament structure that maintains our unique championship opportunity for college athletes.”

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will air all 67 games across TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV and digital platforms.

It's unclear how many fans will be allowed to attend the games, though NCAA officials indicated a limited number of family members of players and coaches will be permitted to watch the games in-person. Announcements about other attendees will be made later, The Associated Press reported.

The NCAA is limiting the tournament games to Indiana after dozens of games over the season have been delayed or canceled due to COVID-19 cases and exposure.

“This is going to be complicated and difficult; there’s no question about that,” NCAA Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt said in a statement.

Plans for the women’s tournament have not been announced, but the NCAA is expected to set guidelines similar to those of March Madness.