NCAA Basketball Tournaments Undergo Changes

VCHS Senior Marcus Linton makes a 3-pointer on March 13. 2021 at an AAU basketball tournament.

Photo Courtesy of Ivan Jones

VCHS Senior Marcus Linton makes a 3-pointer on March 13. 2021 at an AAU basketball tournament.

Although last year the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, often referred to as “March Madness,” was canceled due to COVID-19, this year it is taking place and will begin on March 18. However, there are quite a few differences about this years March Madness and the March Madness of years past.

To start with, according to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Website, this is the first year in NCAA Basketball Tournament History that every single tournament game will be played in the same location. All games will be played in Indiana, and the majority of the games will be played in Indianapolis. Games will be played in the Lucas Oil Stadium, the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Indiana Farm Coliseum, Mackey Arena, and the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The location of the men’s tournament is not the only thing that will be different this year. The tournament bracket will also have some changes. The website linked above states that the primary way to determine the bracket is now based off of the overall seed list. In addition, there will be 37 at-large selections in 2021, which differs from the typical 36. Also, instead of the Final Four being played over two days, all Final Four games will be played on the same day. All of the first and second round games will be played over two days for each round and the Sweet 16 will still be the weekend of March 27-28, with the Elite Eight happening immediately through March 29-30.

All men’s tournament games will be broadcast on either CBS, TruTv, TNT, and TBS. Also, fans can install the free NCAA March Madness Live app. Logging in with a TV provider grants access to stream many games. Schedule of broadcast games is available on the website linked above.

For the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, the first round beings on Sunday and Monday, March 21-22. The second round begins Tuesday and Wednesday, March 23-24. The Sweet 16 teams play Saturday and Sunday, March 27-March 28. The Elite Eight competes next Monday and Tuesday, March 29-30. The Final Four games begin on Friday, April 2, with the National Championship being on Sunday, April 4.

All Women’s Tournament games will be broadcast on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, or ABC.

Which #1 seed in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has the best chance to win it all?

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Which #1 seed in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament will win?

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