BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — We are just a month away from March Madness taking over central Indiana. Host cities like Bloomington are already gearing up for tip off.
“You can argue the Final Four is the signature piece of the NCAA tournament, but the early rounds are what people pretend to be sick from school for to stay home and watch,” joked Indiana University (IU) Senior Associate Athletic Director Jeremy Gray. “The good news is we have some experience with these. We put on 215 live events a year.”
IU is still discussing COVID safety protocols with the NCAA for how it will conduct those opening rounds of the tournament.
Teams will be staying in Indy’s bubble, and making the trek to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the games. As it stands, the Hoosier men’s and women’s teams are still in contention to make the big dance.
Even if they do, the school says no host city is allowed to play on their home court. This would force IU to play in Indy or West Lafayette.
“It’s going to be a little high school basketball game style where they are going to get on the bus, take a ride, and play the Hickory Huskers,” laughed Gray. “That’s gonna be how it will go.”
Purdue University’s Mackey Arena is also going to host First Four and first round games. Over the course of the next month, we’ll also head there to show you how they’re preparing.