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Big Ten makes basketball tournament move to Indianapolis official

13News reported the tournament would be coming to Indianapolis a week ago.
Credit: WTHR

INDIANAPOLIS — The worst-kept secret in college basketball is that the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament is coming to Indianapolis and on Tuesday, it became official. 

13News reported the tournament would be coming to Indianapolis a week ago. The 2021 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament had been set for the United Center in Chicago.

In a release, the Big Ten gave a series of reasons for moving the tournament to Indianapolis: 

  • The health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials and conference constituents
  • Cohesive testing and medical protocols with hosting both the men's and women's basketball tournaments in the same city
  • Centralized accommodations surrounding the competition venues

The 2021 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will be held March 10-14. The Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament is scheduled for Bankers Life Fieldhouse from March 9-13.

It's not known if — or how many — fans will be allowed to attend the men's tournament, which will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium. Ultimately, that decision rests with Marion County Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine and the number of COVID cases.

The Division I Men's Basketball Championship will tip off with First Four games Thursday, March 18. The entire tournament will be in Indiana, with 55 of the 67 games taking place in Indianapolis. 

Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington will each host two First Four games and will join Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum and Lucas Oil Stadium as hosts of first-round games Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20. 

The four venues in Indianapolis will serve as sites for the remainder of the championship, including second-round games Sunday and Monday, March 21 and 22, according to the NCAA.

The Sweet 16 will be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday and Sunday, March 27 and 28, with each of the eight games getting its own television window. 

The Elite Eight games will take place in prime time Monday and Tuesday, March 29 and 30, and the Final Four is scheduled for Saturday and Monday, April 3 and 5. All those games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Selection Sunday is March 14, and The Big Dance begins four days later.