March Madness plan released by NCAA

NCAA Basketball

FILE – In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is displayed at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball tournament. NCAA President Mark Emmert says NCAA Division I basketball tournament games will be played without fans in the arenas because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (KXAN) — Not only will the NCAA men’s basketball tournament be played completely in Indiana, but it will also have a new scheduling format, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.

“March Madness” during the COVID-19 pandemic will not follow its normal schedule until the Final Four weekend.

The First Four games, which are typically played on the Tuesday and Wednesday before the full tournament tips off, will instead be played on Thursday, March 18.

Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington will each host two First Four games and will join Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum and Lucas Oil Stadium as hosts of first-round games Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20, according to the NCAA.

The four venues in Indianapolis will serve as sites for the remainder of the championship, including second-round games Sunday and Monday, March 21 and 22.

The NCAA plans to play the Sweet 16 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28. All Sweet 16 games will be played at separate times.

The Elite Eight games will be in prime time Monday and Tuesday, March 29 and 30, and the Final Four is scheduled for Saturday and Monday, April 3 and 5. All those games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium, according to the NCAA.

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