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NCAA Finalizes March Madness Schedule

Mackey Arena will host First Four and First Round games

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA today announced the schedule and plans for the 2021 NCAA Tournament. As previously disclosed the entirety of the NCAA Tournament will take place in Indiana this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It was also previously announced that Mackey Arena would host some slate of games and that was confirmed today as well.

You can read the entire release here but I’ll hit the highlights for you. Selection Sunday is set to take place on March 14th. After that things will kick off with the First Four games. Two of these will take place at Assembly Hall while the other two will take place at Mackey Arena. These will be March 18th. Additionally, both Assembly Hall and Mackey Arena will host first round games that take place on March 19th and 20th. Unfortunately due to the pandemic it means none of us would be able to go to Mackey to watch these games in person but it will be great to see such an amazing arena get an even bigger stage.

Following the first round the remaining games will take place in Indianapolis and be split between Banker’s Life, Hinkle, Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum, and of course Lucas Oil Stadium. One change from previous years will occur during the Sweet 16. Each of the eight games during this round will occur in their own time window rather than in previous years where two games would overlap.

The Elite Eight and Final Four games will take place at Lucas Oil because why would you play a basketball game in a basketball arena? I understand they normally do this to accommodate a large number of fans but what’s the point this year? Why not play basketball in a basketball arena? This also crushes Travis personally because he dreams of having the Final Four be played in Hinkle for some reason.

With this truly happening and the NCAA moving one step closer to March Madness let’s hope all the logistics can be worked out. From a purely financial standpoint I’m not sure the sport could handle no NCAA Tournament two years in a row. Hopefully they’ve got some smart folks working on logistics here.