A lot of things are up in the air when it comes to navigating this “new normal.” However, sports are still one of the definitive ways to bring people together whether in-person or virtually. Last year, it was rough because the pandemic truly hit in the US right around the start of March Madness. This year protocol is in place to help make the transition smooth. Here are the highlights:
- 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball tourney will happen this month and next month in a bubble type of situation in Indiana.
- Selection Sunday (March 14th) they’ll reveal the bracket for this year’s tournament.
- It’s going to be a bit different because usually, the First Four starts on a Tuesday. However, they’ve pushed it back to Thursday, March 18.
- You’ll be able to tune into the games via CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV, and the NCAA March Madness Live app.
- Instead of playing all across the USA, the 68 teams will play in different venues in Indianapolis, such as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium, and Assembly Hall to name a few.
- The arenas are open up to 25% capacity. This gives them room to properly socially distance while they wear masks.
- If a player tests positive, a few more tests will be run in case of a false positive. In a worst-case scenario, the player will have to isolate for at least 10 days.
- Contact tracing will begin immediately to ensure that the whole team doesn’t have it. If fewer than 5 players can play, the NCAA does have a plan to replace teams in more dire situations.
- The next best team in that conference will be able to step in and play in the tournament.