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March Madness: What we do and don't know about the Zags and the NCAA Tournament

Things are becoming more defined a tournament that will look much different than in years past. Here's what we know about March Madness.

SPOKANE, Wash. — March has arrived, which means the NCAA Tournament is right around the corner. 

Gonzaga will be a one seed when the brackets are announced on Selection Sunday and and will be the overall No. 1 seed as long as they win out. 

We will find out on Selection Sunday where Gonzaga will play and who they will face off against in the first round. After Selection Sunday, we will find out the date, time and network of Gonzaga's game. 

Things are becoming more defined for the event that will look much different than in years past, so here is what we know going into March.

COVID-19 protocols

We've known for months now that the NCAA Tournament will be held entirely in Indianapolis. 

Recently, we found out that fans will be allowed to attend games but each venue will only operate at a maximum 25% capacity. Players, coaches and staff members will also be allowed to have up to six family members attend games.

RELATED: NCAA tournament in Indiana to allow fans; 25 percent capacity at venues

Team parties must test negative for COVID-19 seven straight days before arriving in Indianapolis. This has been a big concern of Mark Few's and one of the reasons why he lobbied for the WCC Tournament to be played in teams' home gyms. That would cut down on travel and therefore exposure. Few did not get his wish, though, and the WCC Tournament will be played in Las Vegas.

There is also a plan for if team is forced to withdraw due to a COVID-19 outbreak before the NCAA Tournament begins. Once the tournament begins, teams won't be replaced if they have an outbreak. 

The first priority for the NCAA is that all 31 conferences are represented in the field. If a team from a one-bid conference is forced to drop out, they will be replaced by another team from the same league. If a team withdrawing is from a multiple bid conference, then the replacement team will be one of the first four teams left out of the field of 68. The first four teams out will be ranked one through four and that will determine the order of who gets in first.

There will also be no reseeding once the field is announced. For example, if Gonzaga were to withdraw from the tournament, the replacement team coming in for them would be given a one seed, even though they are not a one seed.

The deadline for teams to withdraw will be on March 16 at 3 pm PT.

Schedule changes

The schedule will also be slightly tweaked this year, with the first weekend of games starting on Friday instead of Thursday and ending on Monday instead of Sunday. 

The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight also will be played on different days than usual. The Sweet Sixteen will be played on Saturday and Sunday and the Elite Eight will be played on Monday and Tuesday. The Sweet Sixteen is usually played on Thursday/Friday and the Elite Eight is played on Saturday/Sunday.

The Final Four and championship game remains on the same schedule, being played on Saturday and Monday.

Here is the full schedule of events in Pacific time:

  • Selection Sunday — March 14 at 3 p.m. on KREM.
  • First Four — Thursday, March 18 beginning at 1 p.m. on truTV and TBS.
  • First round — Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20 beginning at 9 a.m. on KREM, TBS, TNT, and truTV.
  • Second round — Sunday, March 21, and Monday, March 22 beginning at 9 a.m. on KREM, TBS, TNT, and truTV.
  • Sweet 16 — Saturday, March 27 games will be played at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 28 games will be played at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. KREM will air the early games both days while TBS will air the afternoon games.
  • Elite Eight — Monday, March 29 games will begin at 4 p.m. on KREM. Tuesday, March 30 games will begin at 3 p.m. on TBS.
  • Final Four — Saturday, April 3 beginning at 2 p.m. on KREM.
  • NCAA championship game — Monday, April 5 at 6 p.m. on KREM.

What we know for Gonzaga

Gonzaga will be a one seed when the brackets are announced on Selection Sunday, and will be the overall number one seed as long as they win out. 

We will find out on Selection Sunday what location Gonzaga will play at in Indianapolis and who they will face off against in the first round. We will find out after Selection Sunday the date, time, and network of Gonzaga's game.