The 2021 NCAA Tournament is set to conclude with the Final Four in Indianapolis in early April
Last year's NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but March Madness is set to return in 2021 with all of the games taking place in the state of Indiana, concluding with the Final Four in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The change in format also will impact how the bracket is structured. The top four seeds will be handled the same and so will the First Four. But the rest of the teams in the bracket will be placed based on rankings without the usual considerations for geography, according to the NCAA. This is called using the "S-curve" to fill the bracket. There will be 37 at-large selections (one more than normal) and 31 automatic qualifiers (one fewer than normal).
What hasn't changed is that the last four teams standing will meet in Lucas Oli Stadium on April 3 for the Final Four with the winners advancing to the national championship game on April 5.
Indianapolis is certainly no stranger to hosting the NCAA Tournament or the Final Four, as the city is where the NCAA's base of operations is located. This will be the eighth time Indianapolis will be the site of the Final Four, and it's scheduled to return in 2026. This will be the third time Lucas Oil Stadium has hosted the Final Four (2010, 2015) with the other Indianapolis venues being Market Square Arena (1980, demolished in 2001) and the RCA Dome (1991, 1997, 2000, 2006 - demolished in 2008). In 2015, South No. 1 seed Duke defeated West No. 1 seed Wisconsin 68-63 in front of a crowd of 71,149.
The NCAA has already announced the dates and locations for the next five Final Fours, a stretch that has the event returning to Indianapolis in 2026.
Future Final Four Locations: Date, Venue, City
- April 2 & 4, 2022 – Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)
- April 1 & 3, 2023 – NRG Stadium (Houston)
- April 6 & 8, 2024 – State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)
- April 5 & 7, 2025 – Alamodome (San Antonio)
- April 4 & 6, 2026 – Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)