How To Watch March Madness 2021: Complete Schedule and Dates

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Get ready for a March Madness unlike any other we have seen in the history of the tournament. After the pandemic halted last year’s event, things are back in action this season, with 68-teams looking to fulfill their quest of winning the coveted NCAA championship trophy. There will be some changes this year; the entire tournament will take place in Indiana as opposed to being scattered across various states and cities, and the majority of those games will be played in Indianapolis.

We know you have probably have a lot of questions, so we will try to cover all of them with the information we know now. We will be providing round-the-clock NCAA coverage over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back frequently for the latest updates.

When is Selection Sunday?

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Selection Sunday is March 14th at 6 p.m. EST/ 3 p.m. PST on CBS.

What day does the tournament actually start?

As usual, the NCAA will have a First Four round to determine the play-in slots. The First Four starts Thursday, March 18th, with the first round taking place that Friday and Saturday. The second round will begin at noon on Sunday, March 21st, and continue on through Monday, March 22nd.

What is the full schedule for the Tournament?

Games can be watched on CBS, TruTV, TNT, and CBS.  This is the full schedule as slated:

  • Selection Sunday — 6 p.m. ET March 14 on CBS
  • First Four — 4 p.m. start on Thursday, March 18 on TruTV and TBS
  • First-round — 12 p.m. start on Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20 on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV
  • Second round — 12 p.m. start on Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22 on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV
  • Sweet 16 — 2 p.m. start on Saturday, March 27, and 1 p.m. start on Sunday, March 28 on CBS and TBS
  • Elite Eight — 7 p.m. start on Monday, March 29, and 6 p.m. start on Tuesday, March 30 on CBS (Monday) and TBS (Tuesday)
  • Final Four — 5 p.m. start on Saturday, April 3 on CBS
  • NCAA championship game — 9 p.m. Monday, April 5 on CBS

What Are The Safety Protocols?

As per, this year’s tournament will be played entirely in Indiana. Games will only be played one at a time at Lucas Oil Stadium and various other locations, including Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Mackey Arena, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Teams will utilize the many different courts at the Indiana Convention Center for practices, and each team will be housed on dedicated hotel floors with socially distanced meeting rooms available for their use. Transportation will be provided to and from the competition centers. 

How Will The Seeding Changes Affect The Tournament?

Previously, certain elements of bracket positioning were dependent upon the locations of the teams. With the entire tournament taking place in Indiana this year, the bracket positioning will now be entirely based on rankings. Geography will no longer affect the ‘S-curve’ (a system used by the NCAA committee to make bracket decisions), and there will be 37 at-large selections, with 31 automatic qualifiers.

Obviously these things could change in light of a potential Covid outbreak (let’s keep our fingers crossed), but for the time being this is everything you need to know right as far as scheduling.

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