The NCAA announced Monday it plans to hold the entire 2021 men’s college basketball tournament in one geographic location to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 and is in talks with Indianapolis to be the host city.
The Final Four is already set to be held in Indianapolis next April and the NCAA has its headquarters in the Indiana capital.
Early-round games had been scheduled at 13 predetermined sites across the country. Moving those to one location would allow a safe and controlled environment with venues, practice facilities, lodging and medical resources all within proximity of one another.
No decision on how to handle the women’s NCAA Tournament has been decided yet.
“The committee and staff have thoughtfully monitored the pandemic to develop potential contingency plans,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “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.”
The NCAA set a Nov. 25 start date for the college basketball season as it tries to bounce back from the tournaments being canceled last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools have scrambled to fill schedules while rising positive coronavirus tests have wreaked havoc on the college football, causing the cancellation of more than 60 games.