The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is one of the biggest events on the sports calendar each year. But last March, as college basketball conferences were about to start their postseason tournaments, the coronavirus began to sweep throughout the United States and forced the cancellation of the 2020 event. This year the tournament will be held in a controlled environment centralized in Indianapolis with a majority of the games at four venues throughout the city along with early-round action hosted at Purdue University and Indiana University. In this conversation with SportsTravel Senior Editor Matt Traub, NCAA Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt discusses the tournament’s organization with a focus on health and safety, what went into the original November announcement that the event would be held in a controlled environment, the shifting landscape upon which this season has been held and what aspects of this year’s event the NCAA may be able to use going forward at future tournaments.

Among the topics discussed in this episode:

  • Why the NCAA announced the men’s tournament would be held in a controlled environment in Indianapolis (3:00)
  • The differences in hosting the tournament in one state compared to multiple sites (5:15)
  • The most difficult part of the single-site organization (6:50)
  • Why the NCAA Men’s Tournament will have different dates for games compared to its traditional schedule (7:25)
  • Getting all 68 selected teams into the controlled environment without any positive COVID-19 tests occurring (9:35)
  • Working with conferences on whether they should still work to hold postseason tournaments (12:40)
  • What he’s looking forward to seeing most at this year’s tournament (14:11)
  • What parts of this year’s tournament organization and schedule could be replicated down the road (15:30)

Click here to listen to more episodes of the SportsTravel Podcast