NCAA Releases New Schedule Format For 2021 March Madness Tournament

Jan 19, 2021, 1:21 PM
NCAA March Madness...
A general view of a 'March Madness' logo is seen during practice before the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 20, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahΒ – March Madness is going to be unique in 2021. Not only will the entire NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament take place in one state, but it’s also going to have a different schedule as it’s played amidst the novel COVID-19 pandemic.

Say goodbye this year to Thursday & Friday, loading up our workdays with first-round NCAA Tournament action. Instead, it’s on a Friday and Saturday. That’s just one of the noticeable changes to the new schedule that the NCAA released on January 19.

Selection Sunday will take place on Sunday, March 14th, which is business as usual. What changes is when the First Four begins. Typically, the First Four has always taken place on the following Tuesday & Wednesday after Selection Sunday. As it will be the first tournament played since COVID-19 struck the globe, this year’s First Four action will tip on Thursday, March 18th in Indiana.

The round of 64, also known as the First Round, will be played on Friday, March 19th, and Saturday, March 20th. Second Round action will take place on Sunday, March 21st, and Monday, March 22nd.

The Sweet 16 will have a Saturday-Sunday setup, with Elite 8 action on Monday and Tuesdays. All culminating with the Final Four on April 3rd and then the National Championship game in its typical Monday night timeslot on April 5th.

All of the NCAA Tournament games will take place in the state of Indiana at various venues. Two courts will be inside Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, along with Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, IUPUI’s Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Purdue’s Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, and Indiana’s Assembly Hall in Bloomington will all be venues for this year’s March Madness.

2021 NCAA Men’s March Madness Schedule

March 14 – Selection Sunday

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

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter:Β @Mitch_HarperΒ and theΒ KSL Sports app.

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NCAA Releases New Schedule Format For 2021 March Madness Tournament