March Madness: What to Know and What to Expect

Illustration by Donya Collins, taken in 2020, some rights reserved, OPINION: March Madness in Assembly Hall is cause for cautious optimism – Indiana Daily Student (

Due to the pandemic last year, March Madness was canceled and the tournaments were held off. This year, both men and women tournaments will be played with very different circumstances than before. 


 The men’s tournament will begin on March 18th. The whole tournament will take place in Indiana. The first games will be played in Bloomington and Lafayette, Indiana. 


The women’s tournament will start on March 21st. The games will all be played in the San Antonio area. 


This year, especially with Covid, a major question would be, are they allowing fans? It is said that the NCAA is allowing a fourth of the capacity carried. Fans will social distance and follow safety precautions. 


“Event capacity will include all participants, essential staff and family members of each participating team’s student-athletes and coaches and a reduced number of fans” stated the NCAA in a Fox News articles. “All attendees must wear face coverings and physically distance during the event. Thorough cleaning, disinfecting and safety measures will be a priority in all venues.”


Players will be getting tested regularly, just like they usually do during their season. The transportation for the teams will be organized and the hotels will also be to go along with covid guidelines and social distancing practices. 


For fans that cannot attend but want to be a part of the experience, the tournaments will be live on channels such as CBS, TNT, ABC, ESPN, and the March Madness app. 


“I was saddened by the tournament getting canceled because it was the best time of the year,” said Jack Schaeffer, a junior at Lambert Highschool and March Madness fanatic. “I am excited for this year’s tournament. I have been waiting to watch it for a while now, even though fans can’t attend, I think it will be awesome.” 


    In 2019, this was the last time that March Madness was one hundred percent normal. Fans could attend, there was no social distancing and the pandemic had not begun yet. 


Total paid attendance at NCAA college basketball tournament games from 2000 to 2018 shows that an average of 700,000 people attended the games within these years. 


Although Covid will affect how the games are played, where they take place and the fan base, hopefully the March Madness tournament will still be enjoyable to many.