For the first time in nearly two calendar years, we will have March Madness. The 2021 NCAA Tournament, the single greatest postseason event in organized sports, will take place starting on Thursday, March 18. This was the first major sporting event to be canceled by COVID last season. Even as COVID is over the sports world, it seems the NCAA and host venues are better prepared to actually host the tournament this year.
The 2021 NCAA Tournament will be held in the state of Indiana with the majority of games taking place in the greater Indianapolis area. Each venue will feature two courts to play games. That’s part of an effort to minimize travel by teams and keep a consistent protocol in place for COVID testing.
The sites of the games for the first two rounds are:
Mackey Arena (West Layfayette/Purdue University)
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (Bloomington/Indiana University)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (Indianapolis)
Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)all in Indianapolis.)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse will host the Sweet 16 (March 27-28), Lucas Oil Stadium will host the Elite 8 (March 29), the Final Four (April 3), and the National Championship (April 5.)
How teams get picked to be in the NCAA Tournament
March is an important month when it comes to men’s college basketball because of the NCAA tournament known as “March Madness.” Every year, fans fill out their brackets trying to predict who will be the national champions.
Some fans don’t know how the field of 64 teams is determined. To get into the tournament, team get an “automatic bid” by winning its postseason conference championship) or teams get an “at-large bid”, which means teams that didn’t win its conference championship gets invited to the tournament based on a good record.
From there, the 64 teams are split up into four regions (East, Midwest, South, and West) with 16 teams in each region and each team being ranked in that region from 1-16 based on their records.
Some things you might not have know about March Madness
This is the first NCAA tournament with Duke and Kentucky not in it since 1976
Gonzaga is entering the tournament undefeated. The last team that did that was the 2015 Kentucky Wildcats
The last team to finish with a perfect season was the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976 when they finished 32-0
Big Ten has made history by being the only conference having four seeds in the tournament
There are three Ohio teams in the tournament, Ohio State, Ohio University, and Cleveland State
A team hasn’t repeated being national champions since the 2006-07 Florida Gators
No team has ever won the national championship after losing their conference game
There was only one 16th seed to knock off the #1 seed that was back in 2018 when Maryland-Baltimore County beat Virginia
Tiger Eye News Sports Editor Dominic Mundell’s bracket and analysis:
“My Final Four will be Gonzaga against Michigan and North Carolina against Clemson. Michigan has played really sound this year, so has Clemson and North Carolina. That’s just my faith hope. I have Gonzaga winning the national championship this year. They’ve been playing really good basketball this season.”
Tiger Eye News Sportswriter Nate Watkin’s bracket and analysis:
“My Final Four teams are Gonzaga, Texas, Ohio State, and Illinois. I have Gonzaga in there because they haven’t lost a game and have won most of their games by double digits so I don’t see a team beating them or getting in their way. I feel like Texas could be a sleeper. Ohio State has been up and down this year, even going on a four-game losing streak at one point but I feel like they will come out very aggressive. Illinois probably has the toughest route to the championship and will face some really good teams. Overall the team I have coming on top is Gonzaga…if this team plays to their ability nobody can beat them.”
Tiger Eye News Sportswriter Marcus Moore’s bracket and analysis:
“My Final Four teams are Gonzaga against Alabama and Ohio State against Illinois. My final predictions will be Ohio State against Gonzaga in the national championship. Gonzaga will be a force and Ohio State will not know how to stop the dominate Gonzaga team. Both teams have very good talent but Gonzaga will take home a national championship.”