March Madness Bringing Back Fans
The NCAA announced on Friday that there will be a limited amount of fans at March Madness games. The announcement by the NCAA will allow 25% seating capacity at all arenas, including players, staff, family members, and fans. Mask and physical distancing will be required in the entire arena. Last season, the entire tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19 shutdowns in March.
Per Jeff Borzello of ESPN, NCAA Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt stated on Friday, “This year’s tournament will be like no other, and while we know it won’t be the same for anyone, we are looking forward to providing a memorable experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans at a once-in-a-lifetime tournament.”
The NCAA Bubble
The NCAA is working to create a bubble in downtown Indianapolis for the student athletes. All of the teams will stay in downtown Indianapolis near the Indianapolis Convention Center, which will hold practice courts per Henry Bushnell of Yahoo Sports. The sites for the games are at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium, Purdue University, Butler University, Indiana University, and IUPUI.
The NCAA March Madness Selection Show will be on March 14. The First Four will begin in Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University on March 18. The first round games will begin on March 19. The Final Four in Lucas Oil Stadium will be on April 3 and 5.
Who from Michigan is getting a Ticket to Indianapolis?
Many teams around the state of Michigan are all working on earning their ticket into the tournament. One team that has the whole country talking is the University of Michigan. Coach Juwan Howard has elevated the program to a whole new level, and is ranked 3rd in the nation. Michigan just beat rival the fourth rank Ohio State beating them 92-87. The freshman Hunter Dickinson had a massive game with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. The Wolverines are project to be a number one seed going into the tournament.
Detroit Mercy Titans have been rolling this season. The Titans are third in the Horizon Leagues standings. Guard Antoine Davis has been the biggest impact on the Titans this season. Davis has been the Horizon Leagues leading scorer by averaging 23.3 points per game. The Titans best chance of making the trip to Indianapolis is to win the Horizon Tournament.
On the other head, Michigan State has been struggling to get a rhythm going all season. The Spartans are ranked 12th in the Big Ten and are not ranked in the top 25. The Spartans just had a huge win on Saturday against Indiana. Michigan State has a big test against the number five Illinois. The best chance for the Spartans to get into the dance would be to win the Big Ten Conference Tournament in March.
MAC Conference teams from Michigan have been struggling this season as well. Western Michigan, Central Michigan, and Eastern Michigan are all rank near the bottom of the conference. Some magic is needed to happen in order for all three teams to get a ticket to Indianapolis.