After cancelling March Madness for the first time since the inception of the NCAA tournament in 1939, the NCAA has been working diligently to ensure this year’s tourney is played. Fans and bettors alike are getting ready for March Madness 2021.
Coaches, players, fans, and bettors want March Madness to happen in 2021 too. The plan, thus far, is to move ahead with the tourney as scheduled. Here’s what you need to know to get ready for this year’s NCAA tournament.
Selection Sunday is set for March 14 and the plan, according to the NCAA, is to stick to the original schedule. The big change for March Madness 2021 is that the entire tournament will be held in the state of Indiana in six different venues near Indianapolis, the site of the Final Four.
The Selection Committee will announce the 68-team field and action will get underway with the First Four on Tuesday, March 16, and Wednesday, March 17. First-round action will then begin on Thursday, March 18.
The Final Four will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 3 and 5.
The NCAA decided to hold the tournament in one central location due to the coronavirus. A local health provider will work with the NCAA to test players, coaches, and staff members. Marriott Hotels is expected to house all the tournament teams.
There are some concerns around the virus that the NCAA has not made a final decision on as of yet. Should a team not be able to play in the First Four or First Round, there is some discussion of replacement teams. Again, nothing is final yet.
If a team cannot play because of positive tests, no decision has been made yet. There is talk of teams having to forfeit, but the idea of a replacement team, especially in early rounds, is still on the table.
A limited number of family members are expected to be permitted to attend March Madness 2021 games.
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March Madness 2021 – Teams to Watch
From the start of the 2020-21 season, the overall favorite has been Gonzaga (+250), which is currently 10-0. Senior Corey Kispert is on fire. He is shooting 76 percent from inside the arc and 51 percent from outside. Kispert is scoring 21.6 points per game and he is not even the Bulldogs best player.
Freshman point guard Jalen Suggs scores 14.1 points a game and averages 5.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists. He is a likely consensus All-American and could be the No. 1 player selected in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Baylor, currently ranked No. 2, is 9-0 and listed at +650 to win the national title. Anyone betting college basketball will know that five other teams are given odds under +1000. Villanova, winner of two NCAA championships in the last five years, is the best of the bunch listed at +800. The Wildcats are 8-1 and ranked No. 3 in the nation.
Wisconsin (9-2) is listed at +850 as is Tennessee (7-1). Michigan (9-0) is the only ranked team other than Gonzaga and Baylor that is still unbeaten. The Wolverines are listed at +750. Big Ten foe Illinois (8-3) checks in at +900.
One of the big surprises thus far in 2021 is Texas. The Longhorns are 8-1, 3-0 in the Big 12, and ranked No. 4 in the country. They just recorded the largest victory over Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in an 84-59 upset of the Jayhawks. Head coach Shaka Smart’s team is an intriguing bet at +1150 to win March Madness 2021.