It’s been almost two years since a March Madness game was played. The 2021 NCAA Tournament will be a welcome sight for hoops fans everywhere.
The pandemic hit the country hard just a week before last season’s tournament. Most 2020 conference tournaments were cancelled before the second round even took place. The NCAA made the grueling decision to shut down the season for the health and safety of players, staffs and fans.
The NCAA is hoping to have better control and reduced risk this time around. To do so, this season’s March Madness will be played in a bubble environment, similar to that of the NBA’s bubble in Orlando to complete the 2019-20 season.
The NCAA is also making a few changes to this year’s tournament. The first round will begin on Mar. 19-20, a Friday and Saturday, and the second round will begin Mar. 21-22, a Sunday and Monday. The Sweet 16 begins on Mar. 27 and rolls through Mar. 28. The Elite Eight spans from Mar. 29 to the 30th, a Monday and Tuesday.
Take a look at this year’s March Madness schedule.
🚨 #MarchMadness Scheduling Update!
🏀 March 18 – First Four
🏀 March 19/20 – First Round
🏀 March 21/22 – Second Round
🏀 March 27/28 – Sweet 16
🏀 March 29/30 – Elite 8
🏀 April 3 – Final Four
🏀 April 5 – National Championship
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 19, 2021
The days rounds like the Elite Eight will be played are a bit odd, but after last year hoops fans will take any March Madness basketball.
The cancellation of last year’s tournament was a devastating train of events for college basketball teams and fans. Though completely warranted, it was definitely a tough blow.
The NCAA is confident it can ensure the health and safety of players and coaches this season. By utilizing a bubble, 2021 March Madness shouldn’t have any hiccups.