We Will Have March Madness in 2021
College basketball fans, worried about the difficulties football is having getting its season started, got some good news on Wednesday night.
In a call with NCAA.com’s Andy Katz, multiple NCAA officials indicated that the basketball tournament would return this year after a one year absence.
March Madness was cancelled this year, along with most major conference tournaments, many of which were already in progress, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next year, however, we’ll get the Big Dance back.
NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt told Katz, "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.”
NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Chair Mitch Barnhart, also on the call, told Katz, "The absence of March Madness was absolutely difficult for our country. We can laugh — we can talk about how it really shouldn't be that way, but the reality was that it is something we all rally around. We will absolutely do all we can do — whatever assets, whatever resources, whatever it takes — to try and give our young people the chance to play the game they love.”
It's possible, depending on the progress of the virus’ spread, that March Madness may not actually take place in March.
"Our first and primary goal and preference is to have the tournament on the dates that are set,” Gavitt said, “at the venues that are pre-determined, but if the virus necessitates a different path, we will adjust accordingly. The health and safety of the players and the coaches and all the people around the game — the referees and fans will be primary."