The Big Dance could have a new look in 2021.
On Monday, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced that instead of using 13 different sites in preliminary rounds for the 2021 NCAA Tournament, it will relocate the big dance to a single host city.
In a statement from spokesman David Worlock, he said, “In recent weeks, the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has engaged in a thorough contingency planning process to determine the most effective way to conduct a safe and healthy March Madness for all participants for the 2021 championship. Through these discussions, it became apparent to the committee that conducting the championship at 13 preliminary round sites spread throughout the country would be very difficult to execute in the current pandemic environment. The committee has decided the championship should be held in a single geographic area to enhance the safety and well-being of the event.”
The early favorite to host the tournament is Indianapolis, where the NCAA is located, and was the site for the upcoming 2021 NCAA Final Four anyway.
This news is not a shocker as the sports world continues to deal in the COVID-19 world and the hope is that by keeping everyone involved in the Big Dance in a single city, it will reduce travel and chances of getting exposed to the virus.
Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball, added, “We have learned so much from monitoring other successful sporting events in the last several months, and it became clear it’s not feasible to manage this complex championship in so many different states with the challenges presented by the pandemic. However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”
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