Andy Enfield’s Trojans have become a virtual lock to make the 2021 NCAA tournament after starting the season 18-3. Now USC fans will have a chance to see their favorite team live at the big dance in Indiana this March.
The NCAA announced Friday that March Madness will have fans in the stands with limited attendance.
Beginning March 18 with the First Four at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, every game in all rounds will be allowed to have fans at 25% capacity in each respected arena.
This decision was made in conjunction with state and local health officials. To add, all attendees must wear face coverings and physically distance during the games.
The entire 2021 men's basketball championship will take place in the state of Indiana, where the NCAA headquarters are. The tournament will be hosted by Ball State, Butler, the Horizon League, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue. They will lend their facilities and staff to assist with tournament operations.
"We continue to use the knowledge we have gained over the season on how to conduct games in a safe environment,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert in a press release.
“I want to thank our host universities and conferences, the Indiana State Health Department, and the leaders in the Marion, Monroe and Tippecanoe county health departments as they help make that possible.” [Emmert]
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in 2020, the NCAA made the choice to cancel the historic March Madness tournament. This was the first time the competition was canceled since 1938.
USC is currently listed as a five-seed in Gonzaga's region in Andy Katz's most recent "bracketology predictions of this years tourney. USC is slated to play Belmont in the first round. The other five seeds include Wisconsin, Florida State and Creighton.
The Trojans still have seven games left in the regular season after adding two make-up games to their schedule to accommodate postponements due to COVID-19 earlier this year.
Having more games against two quality opponents will allow the 17th-ranked Trojans to continue to prove to the committee that they're worthy of a high-seed in this year's March Madness.
With an extraordinary defense USC has been putting on display, the Trojans have a legitimate shot to make an NCAA tournament run this season. Especially if their key players such as guard Tajh Eaddy and forwards Isaiah and Evan Mobley continue to play at a high level.
USC fans will have to wait one more month to see where the Trojans fall when the bracket is released. But no matter who or where they play in Indiana, Trojan fans will have the opportunity to go see their favorite collegiate basketball team play.
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