The NBA's postseason bubble strategy is being adopted by the NCAA for March Madness in 2021. The NCAA is currently working with the city of Indianapolis on arranging for the entire NCAA Tournament to take place there.
With COVID-19 cases continuing to surge across the country, the situation four months from now will likely not be safe enough to host 68 teams in 13 different cities.
“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,” Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball, said in a release. “However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”
Indianapolis was already slated to host the 2021 Final Four, so it made the most sense to base the entire tournament in that area without having to move the most important portion of the tournament to another location.
As of now, there have been no changes to broadcasting rights. CBS Sports and Turner Sports are still expected to air every game across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV.
Of course, the challenges college basketball will face before postseason play start in just nine days as the regular season gets underway.
A jammed schedule with limited off days and smaller roster sizes put college basketball in an even tougher predicament than college football, as a whole, is currently facing.
This plan, though, is a necessary step in the process if the NCAA hopes to have a successful college basketball season.
"The committee and staff have thoughtfully monitored the pandemic to develop potential contingency plans,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “The Board of Governors and my top priorities are to protect the health and well-being of college athletes while also maintaining their opportunity to compete at the highest level. These principles have guided the decision-making process as we continue to assess how to have a fair and safe championship experience.”
First Four - Dayton, OH
First and Second Rounds - Boise, ID; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Providence, RI; Lexington, KY; Raleigh, NC; San Jose, CA; Wichita, KS.
West Regional - Denver, CO
Midwest Regional - Minneapolis, MN
East Regional - Brooklyn, NY
South Regional - Memphis, TN