While the status of the 2020 college football season and 2021 College Football Playoff is up in the air due to the coronavirus, it sounds like there will be a 2021 men’s and women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.
In an interview with NCAA.com’s Andy Katz NCAA and Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt made it clear there will be an NCAA Tournament in 2021.
“We’ll be flexible. We’ll be nimble, and we’ll deliver what the country is desperately looking for again, and that’s just an incredible March Madness tournament in 2021,” Gavitt said.
Gavitt’s statement comes just a day after the PAC-12 announcing they will not hold sports, including basketball in the 2020 calendar year, meaning programs such as UCLA, Oregon and Arizona will not play a non-conference slate.
The VP also said the plan will be to hold the tournament on time and at the venues already preselected to host games but will also be flexible.
“Our first and primary goal and preference is to have the tournament on the dates that are set, at the venues that are pre-determined, but if the virus necessitates a different path, we will adjust accordingly,” Gavitt said. “The health and safety of the players and the coaches and all the people around the game — the referees and fans will be primary.”
The 2021 men’s tournament is currently scheduled to begin on March 16 and 17 with First Four matchups in Dayton, Ohio.
Lexington’s Rupp Arena is scheduled to host first and second round games on Friday, March 19 and Sunday, March 21. The Final Four is slated to be played at nearby Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.