College basketball has finally arrived at its final destination! Sunday was Selection Sunday, and the field of 68 teams for the NCAA Tournament was set. The tournament will tip off on Thursday, as the First Four will play in the “play-in” games to get into the bracket of 64. Check out the latest NCAAB news so you can continue betting against their College Basketball odds.
NCAA Basketball COVID-19 Update – March 15th Edition
This year’s tournament will be very unique, as the whole tournament will take place in and around Indianapolis. Games will be played at numerous venues including: Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, and Assembly Hall in Bloomington. The sites in Indianapolis include: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Lucas Oil Stadium.
The tournament will tip off on Thursday night, as eight teams will vie for four spots to whittle the field down to 64. In the opening game of the night, two 16 seeds will face off for the right to face #1 seed Michigan, as Mount Saint Mary’s will battle Texas Southern. In game #2, two 11 seeds square off as Wichita State takes on Drake for the right to advance to play the sixth-seeded USC Trojans.
The third game of the First Four features Norfolk State and Appalachian State. The winner of this matchup will win the privilege of taking on the top seeded team in the tournament, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The final game of the First Four will see Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans tangle with Mick Cronin’s UCLA Bruins. The winner of this game will advance to take on the #6 BYU Cougars in the round of 64.
With all of the strict COVID protocols in place, this year’s tournament has a different look to it. With all games being played in Indiana, the format has changed as well. Traditionally, the First Four takes place on Tuesday, and then the first round is played on Thursday and Friday. This year, the first round will take place on Friday and Saturday, and the second round will be played on Sunday and Monday.
The Sweet Sixteen will be played on Saturday, March 27th and Sunday, March 28th. For the first time, the Elite 8 won’t be played on a weekend, as the games will be played on Monday, March 29th, and Tuesday, March 30th. The Final Four will be played on Saturday, April 3rd, while the National Championship game will still be played on a Monday, as it will be played on Monday, April 5th.
Gonzaga earned the top seed in this year’s tournament, while Baylor was the overall #2 seed. Illinois was the third top seed, while fellow Big 10 mate Michigan took the fourth and final #1 spot. These teams along with Alabama, Iowa, Ohio State, and Texas are the favorites to take home the National Title. As always there’ll be some Cinderella stories and some upsets along the way. This year’s tournament should be very interesting as the teams won’t travel, and they will be spending a lot of down time in their hotels and at their practice facilities. We can’t wait for Thursday night to kick off the 2021 NCAA Tournament!
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