It’s time to go dancing in the 317.
After weeks of rumors and planning, the NCAA made the big announcement on Monday morning. The entirety of the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is coming to Indianapolis. It won’t be limited to just Division I either. Division II will play down in Evansville, while Division III will be housed in Fort Wayne.
In 49 states it’s just basketball…
The Dan Dakich Show had a monster day on Monday. So much so that Dan Gavitt, Vice President of Basketball for the NCAA and a key figure in bringing March Madness to Indy, called in. Gavitt told DD that the plan just made sense from the start.
“Indianapolis was awarded the Final Four for 2021 back in 2014 so we were planning all along to be here,” Gavitt said. “We determined that having a tournament at 14 different sites just wouldn’t be feasible. Indy was the natural place to consider first and foremost because of the incredible history here. Between the hotels, practice sites, and universities, it really just got down to all the logistics.”
Lucas Oil Stadium will host the Final Four as originally intended. But numerous other venues will join Lucas Oil in housing Tournament games. Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena, and Assembly Hall will all be on the itinerary.
That brings up the question on everyone’s mind. Will there be fans?
“We already have approval from local health officials to definitely have family members of student athletes and coaches at every game,” Gavitt explained. “We’re still working with health officials on attendance and capacity for other fans. We’re not ready to make that decision right now; And probably won’t be until later this month or early February. We’re hopeful.”
Any positive step towards having fans is a good one.
It will all depend on the pandemic situation at the time. But the fact that the NCAA is committed to bringing 68 basketball teams to play in the Circle City shows a true sense of passion and determination.
Statewide basketball in Indiana for four weeks straight? Sign us up.
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