The NCAA announced back in November that it would be hosting the 2021 NCAA Tournament in a bubble, with the expectation of it being in Indianapolis where the organization is headquartered.
On Monday, the NCAA confirmed their bubble plans with a release that announced they still are looking to play their normal schedule, with Selection Sunday on March 14 and the Final Four being played on April 3 and 5, with all 67 games being played in the state of Indiana — most of which in Indianapolis proper.
There will be six game sites for the 2021 tournament, as Lucas Oil Stadium will house two courts (with only one game being played at a time), Bankers Life Fieldhouse (home of the Pacers), Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena in West Lafayette (Purdue), and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington (Indiana) will play host to games.
One would expect the Purdue and Indiana gyms to only be used for opening round action given the further proximity to Indianapolis. The NCAA also announced their plans for housing the teams and how they’ll keep everything in one environment by using the Indiana Convention Center as the practice facility because it’s connected to the hotels they will use via skywalk.
The tournament will be hosted by Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue, which are lending their facilities and staffs to assist with tournament operations. The Indiana Convention Center will be used as a practice facility, with multiple courts set up inside the venue. Marriott properties, an official NCAA corporate partner, will house most of the tournament teams. The properties are connected to the convention center via skywalks and within a controlled environment. All teams will be housed on dedicated hotel floors, with physically distanced meeting and dining rooms, as well as secure transportation to and from competition venues.
For now, the plan is to have a limited number of family members at games with a decision on any fans allowed to attend being made closer to the event as they monitor the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic.