The sports activities betting and basketball world took a large hit final season as COVID-19 took the NCAA Tournament away from us. It was certainly a surreal second for followers and sports activities bettors alike.
However, the excellent news is that March Madness returns this yr (sure!), albeit in a distinct format. We’re not too far-off from the match, so let’s examine in on the format modifications this yr and a few prime groups to win the NCAA Tournament.
Will There Be A March Madness in 2021?
Yes! It received’t happen in a number of totally different hubs or cities, as is the case in non-pandemic years. Instead, the match shall be performed from the state of Indiana, with quite a lot of places. The majority of the video games shall be held in Indianapolis.
Last yr’s occasion was the primary time that the match was canceled in 82 years of play. It’s the primary it has occurred since 1939. March Madness made it via the Second World War however was no match for COVID-19.
Where is the NCAA Tournament in 2021?
There shall be two follow courts inside most places, reminiscent of Lucas Oil Stadium, the house of the Indianapolis Colts. The Indiana Convention Center may even be used as a follow facility with a number of courts arrange inside for use.
Games shall be performed at Lucas Oil, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena in Indianapolis. Mackey Arena in West Lafayette and Simon Sjodkt Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
Most of the scholars and coaches shall be held at Marriott properties. Their lodges shall be related to follow and recreation amenities. They can have devoted flooring, bodily distanced conferences, and eating areas, together with secure and safe transportation.
March Madness Bracket Changes
The format received’t change in comparison with earlier tournaments, however this yr’s essential distinction is relating to the choice committee’s seeding course of.
Typically, seeding is predicated on a number of elements, reminiscent of proximity to college campuses and making journey simpler for followers.
However, that received’t be the case this yr for the reason that match is being performed in the identical state. Instead, the committee will look to make every area or group as balanced as doable since all of the groups and gamers shall be based mostly in a single location.
March Madness Predictions
We’re nonetheless a methods away from the beginning of the match, but it surely’s not too early to interrupt down a few of the prime groups to win the match and the Cinderella we prefer to make a run.
The Big Boys – Gonzaga and Baylor
Easily the highest two groups within the nation, the Bulldogs appear to be the consensus No. 1 by specialists and betting markets. They’re round 2.5/1 or 3/1 to win the National Title. Baylor isn’t far behind with solely barely longer odds or on the similar quantity in futures markets.
Gonzaga has by no means received a nationwide title, however the college is main the nation in scoring, and plenty of consider this the most effective staff they’ve ever had. However, many view Baylor as the higher staff on account of their tougher Big 12 schedule.
Both these groups shall be prime seeds of their areas, and plenty of consider they’re on a collision course within the National Title recreation. Betting markets have each of those groups at an costly -300 to make the Final Four.
It’s no stretch to say that these are simply the most effective two groups within the nation and everybody else is a step under them.
The Houston Cougars
Despite taking part in within the Atlantic Athletic Conference (AAC), the Houston Cougars are a staff that’s flying up boards throughout the nation. They will seemingly be No. 2 seed and are at the moment round 20/1 to win the National Title at oddsmakers.
They have a proficient and staff roster, and they aren’t a reputation that’s being talked about practically sufficient in comparison with extra well-known basketball colleges. I like this staff as a darkish horse to make the Final Four.
The Big Ten Is the Deepest Conference
Not solely will Michigan seemingly get No. 1 seed, however there’s loads of different Big Ten firepower within the Big Dance this season. The Wolverines are +650 to win the NCAA Tournament, and never far behind is at Ohio State at +1200.
Several different ranked groups may even be larger seeds within the match, reminiscent of Illinois +1500, Iowa +1600, and Wisconsin +3000. Rutgers and Purdue even have a very good shot of creating the Big Dance.
The National Title winner received’t seemingly come from the Big Ten, however they’re probably the most in-depth convention and can in all probability be probably the most represented come March.
Can Fans Attend March Madness?
That’s the million-dollar query as we strategy the match. The NCAA and match committee has already said that they are going to enable a choose variety of relations to view the video games. However, they’re nonetheless mum on if there shall be followers allowed for the video games.
Recent information means that followers could also be within the stands come match time. The Indiana Department of Health’s color-coded map has proven enchancment as soon as once more. The state’s positivity fee has slowly declined since January.
The NCAA has said that it is going to be depending on native officers and determined nearer to the occasion. For my cash, I feel there shall be a restricted variety of followers in attendance.
March Madness Is Back!
COVID took away the most effective wagering occasion of the yr from us in 2020, however that’s not occurring once more this yr. The match shall be slightly totally different on the subject of seeding and placement, however ultimately, it’s the identical ole’ March Madness.
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