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.

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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

Round Dates LocationS
Selection Sunday Sunday, March 14  
First Four Thursday, March 18 Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
First Round Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium
Second Round Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22 Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium
Sweet 16 Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse
Elite Eight Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30 Lucas Oil Stadium
Final Four Saturday, April 3 and Monday, April 5 Lucas Oil Stadium

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

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And here are all the locations for the 2022 NCAA tournament:

ROUND DATE CITY
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

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