NCAA men’s basketball tournament may take place in a bubble


David J. Hawkins

(File photo/David J. Hawkins/The Sundial)

Ryan McCoy, Reporter

The NCAA committee is considering implementing a bubble similar to the NBA’s COVID-19 bubble in Orlando for the upcoming 2021 Division 1 men’s basketball tournament.

The NCAA men’s basketball committee decided last Friday to move away from the traditional format which would have had 13 cities around the country host games leading up to the Final Four in Indianapolis.

With COVID-19 cases once again on the rise throughout the country, the committee has started to have preliminary talks with the state of Indiana about hosting the entire 2021 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Committee chair and University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart shared his disappointment about the decision but showed enthusiasm about the future of the tournament.

“My committee colleagues and I did not come lightly to the difficult decision to relocate the preliminary rounds of the 2021 tournament, as we understand the disappointment 13 communities will feel to miss out on being part of March Madness next year,” Barnhart said in a press release. “The committee and staff appreciate the efforts of all the host institutions and conferences and we look forward to bringing the tournament back to the impacted sites in future years.”

March Madness will kick off on March 16, 2021 and will end with the National Championship game on April 5, 2021 if everything goes according to plan. The NCAA has yet to finalize its plans for the women’s basketball tournament.

Editor’s note: Story updated at 10:24 a.m. on Nov. 17.