By Michael Houston |
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has decided to hold the entirety of its Men’s Basketball Championship in one place – with that likely to be Indianapolis – in light of the coronavirus crisis.
Also known as March Madness, the flagship college basketball tournament was scheduled to be held across 13 different sites all over the United States.
However, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has decided the 68-team tournament needs to be held in one location if it is to be run safely in March and April of next year.
Indianapolis, which was already due to host the Final Four, is well on the way to becoming that site and the NCAA is in talks with city and state officials over hosting the entire event in and around the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
“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,” NCAA senior vice-president of basketball Dan Gavitt said.
“However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”
The 2020 edition of March Madness was cancelled because of the health crisis.
More than 250,000 people have died with COVID-19 in the US and the country set records for the number of new infections earlier this month.
Plans for the Women’s Basketball Championship are yet to be confirmed.
A bubble was used to finish the 2019-2020 National Basketball Association season in Orlando and proved very effective, with no outbreaks reported, although that involved considerably fewer teams and professional organisations.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.