The 2021 NCAA DI men’s basketball tournament will be unlike any March Madness that has come before.
The NCAA announced in early January the entire 2021 men’s basketball championship will be played in Indiana, with the majority of the tournament’s 67 games taking place in Indianapolis. Selection Sunday is scheduled for March 14, with the Final Four scheduled for April 3 and 5. The NCAA also announced exact preliminary-round dates in January.
Here’s the schedule:
- Selection Sunday — 6 p.m. ET March 14
- First Four — 4 p.m. start on Thursday, March 18
- First round — 12 p.m. start on Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20
- Second round — 12 p.m. start on Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22
- Sweet 16 — 2 p.m. start on Saturday, March 27, and 1 p.m. start on Sunday, March 28
- Elite Eight — 7 p.m. start on Monday, March 29, and 6 p.m. start on Tuesday, March 30
- Final Four — 5 p.m. start on Saturday, April 3
- NCAA championship game — 9 p.m. Monday, April 5
Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium, as well as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. Teams will practice at the Indiana Convention Center with multiple courts set up inside the venue. All teams will be housed on dedicated hotel floors, with physically distanced meeting and dining rooms, as well as secure transportation to and from competition venues.
1 IN A BILLION: We’ll follow perfect NCAA brackets in the 2021 tournament
CBS Sports and Turner Sports will continue to show all 67 games of the tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV and their digital platforms, including March Madness Live.
Here is the schedule with more detail, as it stands now. All dates are tentative because of changing conditions brought about by COVID-19.
2021 March Madness: Complete schedule, dates
2021 March Madness: TV schedule
|Round||Time, Dates||TV channels|
|Selection Show||6 p.m. Sunday, March 14||CBS|
|First Four||4 p.m. coverage start on Thursday, March 18||truTV, TBS|
|First Round||12 p.m. coverage start on Friday, March 19
and Saturday, March 20
|TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV|
|Second Round||12 p.m. starts on Sunday, March 21
and Monday, March 22
|TBS, CBS, TNT, truTV|
|Sweet 16||2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 and 1 p.m.
and 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 28
|CBS (afternoon games), TBS (primetime games)|
|Elite Eight||7 p.m. start on Monday, March 29 and 6 p.m.
coverage start on Tuesday, March 30
|CBS (Monday) and TBS (Tuesday)|
|Final Four||Games start 5 p.m. Saturday, April 3||CBS|
|National Championship||9 p.m. Monday, April 5||CBS|
2021 NCAA Bracket: Changes to March Madness seeding
The NCAA bracket itself will be handled a little bit differently because the entire tournament is in Indiana. The top four seeds will be handled the same and so will the First Four. The changes will come in how the rest of the bracket is completed. Teams will be placed in the bracket based on rankings without the usual considerations for geography. This is called using the “S-curve” to fill the bracket. There will be 37 at-large selections (one more than normal) and 31 automatic qualifiers (one fewer than normal).
You can read the entire release from the NCAA on its bracketing changes for 2021 here.
March Madness: Future sites, dates
Here are the future sites for the NCAA Division I men’s basketball Final Four:
|Final Four Dates||Hosts||City, State||Facility|
|April 2/4, 2022||Tulane University||New Orleans, LA||Mercedes-Benz Superdome|
|April 1/3, 2023||Rice University, University of Houston,
Houston Baptist University, Texas Southern University
|Houston, TX||NRG Stadium|
|April 6/8, 2024||Arizona State University||Phoenix, AZ||State Farm Stadium|
|April 5/7, 2025||University of Texas at San Antonio, University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio, TX||Alamodome|
|April 4/6, 2026||Horizon League, IUPUI||Indianapolis, IN||Lucas Oil Stadium|
And here are all the locations for the 2022 NCAA tournament:
|Selection Sunday||March 13||N/A|
|First Four||March 15-16||Dayton, Ohio|
|First/Second||March 17 and 19||Buffalo, New York|
|First/Second||March 17 and 19||Cincinnati, Ohio|
|First/Second||March 17 and 19||Fort Worth, Texas|
|First/Second||March 17 and 19||Portland, Oregon|
|First/Second||March 18 and 20||Greenville, South Carolina|
|First/Second||March 18 and 20||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|First/Second||March 18 and 20||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|First/Second||March 18 and 20||San Diego, California|
|Sweet 16/Elite Eight||March 24 and 26||San Antonio, Texas|
|Sweet 16/Elite Eight||March 24 and 26||San Francisco, California|
|Sweet 16/Elite Eight||March 25 and 27||Chicago, Illinois|
|Sweet 16/Elite Eight||March 25 and 27||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Final Four||April 2 and 4||New Orleans|