2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament of 68 teams to determine the men's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2020–21 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The 82nd edition of the tournament began play on March 18 in sites around the state of Indiana,[1] and concluded with the championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 5, with the Baylor Bears defeating the previously undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs 86–70 to earn the team's first ever title.

2021 NCAA Division I
Men's Basketball Tournament
2021 NCAA Men's Final Four logo.svg
Season2020–21
Teams68 (including one that did not play)
Finals siteLucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
ChampionsBaylor Bears (1st title, 2nd title game,
3rd Final Four)
Runner-upGonzaga Bulldogs (2nd title game,
2nd Final Four)
Semifinalists
Winning coachScott Drew (1st title)
MOPJared Butler (Baylor)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«2020 2022»

For logistical considerations surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (which resulted in the cancellation of the previous year's tournament), the NCAA announced in January 2021 that all tournament games would be held in Indiana rather than at sites across the country. This was the first time in the history of the tournament that a single state has hosted it in its entirety.[2]

This marked the first time since 1976 that neither Duke nor Kentucky qualified for the tournament.[3] America East champion Hartford and WAC champion Grand Canyon made their NCAA Tournament debuts.

The tournament was marked by many upsets, with Yahoo Sports journalist Pete Thamel calling it "one of the most dizzying NCAA men's tournaments in history". With only half of the 16 second-round games having been played, there had been 11 upsets to that point, using the NCAA's definition of "upset" as a win by a team seeded five or more lines below its defeated opponent. This had already broken the record for most upsets prior to the round of 16; after this story was published, this number went up to 12. In addition, at least one 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 seed won a first-round game for the fourth time ever, and the first time since 2016. Also, a record four teams seeded 13 or lower won first-round games.[4] Another notable mark set during the tournament was a record-breaking 14 upsets throughout the event, breaking the original record of 13 upsets from the 1985 and 2014 tournaments.

The Final Four game between UCLA and Gonzaga (the first semifinal game to go into overtime since 1998) saw a game-winning buzzer-beater by Jalen Suggs to take Gonzaga into the championship game, the first buzzer-beater in a national semifinal since 1977. By defeating Gonzaga in the championship game, the Baylor Bears became the second consecutive first-time NCAA champions, following the Virginia Cavaliers in 2019. The last time this happened was in 2002 and 2003, when the Maryland Terrapins and Syracuse Orangemen won their first titles in their respective years. Baylor also joined Texas Western (now known as the University of Texas at El Paso) as the only two teams from the state of Texas to have won an NCAA Division I Basketball championship, the Miners having done so in 1966.

Tournament procedureEdit

A total of 68 teams entered the 2021 tournament, with 31 of them (down from 32, due to the Ivy League having canceled all winter semester sports due to COVID-19)[5] having received an automatic bid by winning their conference's tournament. The remaining 37 bids were "at-large", with selections extended by the NCAA Selection Committee. Teams met sport sponsorship requirements and were considered for NCAA championship selection if they played 13 games, which represented a 50 percent reduction of the current minimum. For NCAA championship consideration, all 13 games had to be against other Division I opponents. Teams could also play 12 regular-season games against Division I opponents and one conference tournament game to be eligible for tournament consideration.[6]

The Selection Committee seeded the entire field from 1 to 68. The four lowest-seeded automatic qualifiers and the four lowest-seeded at-large teams played in the First Four round: for the 2021 tournament, the games were played between the overall 65th and 66th seeds, the 67th and 68th seed, and the last four at-large seeds.[7]

The top four teams outside of the ranking (commonly known as the "first four out" in pre-tourney analyses) acted as standbys in the event a school was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to COVID-19 protocols.[8][9] However, if a team withdrew within 48 hours of the tournament's commencement, they would not be replaced; the bracket was not reseeded, and the affected team's opponent would automatically advance to the next round.[10]

Schedule and venuesEdit

 
2021 NCAA tournament venues

On January 4, 2021, the NCAA announced that due to logistical considerations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic (which prompted the cancellation of the 2020 tournament), the entirety of the tournament would be conducted at sites within the Indianapolis metro area and central Indiana, rather than across the country.[11] Players stayed at hotels near the Indiana Convention Center, which served as the main practice facility.[12]

On February 19, it was announced that all venues would operate at a maximum of 25% capacity. As this capacity includes staff and players, the exact number of spectators varied by venue.[13][14] Artificial crowd noise was used at all venues to augment the limited in-person attendance.[15]

This tournament marked the first time ever that Indiana Farmers Coliseum was a tournament venue, the first time since 2017 that Bankers Life Fieldhouse was a tournament venue, the first time since 1940 that Hinkle Fieldhouse was a tournament venue, the first time since 1980 that Mackey Arena was a tournament venue, and the first time since 1981 that Assembly Hall was a tournament venue.

First Four:

First and Second Rounds:

Regional Semifinals and Finals (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight):

  • Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28
    • Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30
    • Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

National Semifinals and Championship (Final Four and Championship):

  • Saturday, April 3 and Monday, April 5
    • Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

Original 2021 NCAA Tournament schedule and venuesEdit

 
2021 First Four (orange) and first and second rounds (green) as originally selected.
 
2021 Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red) as originally selected.

The following sites were originally selected to host each round of the 2021 tournament;[16] with the exceptions of Boise and Minneapolis, all cities and venues listed are scheduled to host tournament games after 2021:

First Four

First and Second Rounds

Regional Semifinals and Finals (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight)

National Semifinals and Championship (Final Four and Championship)

Qualification and selectionEdit

Automatic qualifiersEdit

Conference Team Appearance Last bid
America East Hartford 1st Never
American Houston 22nd 2019
Atlantic 10 St. Bonaventure 8th 2018
ACC Georgia Tech 17th 2010
Atlantic Sun Liberty 5th 2019
Big 12 Texas 35th 2018
Big East Georgetown 31st 2015
Big Sky Eastern Washington 3rd 2015
Big South Winthrop 11th 2017
Big Ten Illinois 31st 2013
Big West UC Santa Barbara 6th 2011
CAA Drexel 5th 1996
C-USA North Texas 4th 2010
Horizon Cleveland State 3rd 2009
Ivy League Season not played
MAAC Iona 15th 2019
MAC Ohio 14th 2012
MEAC Norfolk State 2nd 2012
Missouri Valley Loyola–Chicago 7th 2018
Mountain West San Diego State 13th 2018
NEC Mount St. Mary's 6th 2017
Ohio Valley Morehead State 8th 2011
Pac-12 Oregon State 15th 2016
Patriot Colgate 4th 2019
SEC Alabama 22nd 2018
Southern UNC Greensboro 4th 2018
Southland Abilene Christian 2nd 2019
SWAC Texas Southern 9th 2018
Summit League Oral Roberts 6th 2008
Sun Belt Appalachian State 3rd 2000
WAC Grand Canyon 1st Never
WCC Gonzaga 23rd 2019

Tournament seedsEdit

The tournament seeds and regions were determined through the NCAA basketball tournament selection process.

In contrast to previous years, the S-Curve used to establish overall seeds will also be used as primary determinant of the tournament bracket; this was made possible by the relatively condensed locations of this year's tournament making geographic concerns irrelevant. However, rules that can modify pairings to avoid early rematches and to distribute top conference representatives to different regions will remain in effect.[17][18]

West Regional
Seed School Conference Record Overall Seed Berth type
1 Gonzaga West Coast 26–0 1 Automatic
2 Iowa Big Ten 21–8 7 At-Large
3 Kansas Big 12 20–8 12 At-Large
4 Virginia ACC 18–6 16 At-Large
5 Creighton Big East 20–8 17 At-Large
6 USC Pac-12 22–7 21 At-Large
7 Oregon Pac-12 20–6 25 At-Large
8 Oklahoma Big 12 15–10 32 At-Large
9 Missouri SEC 16–9 33 At-Large
10 VCU Atlantic 10 19–7 38 At-Large
11* Wichita State American 16–5 45 At-Large
Drake Missouri Valley 25–4 48 At-Large
12 UC Santa Barbara Big West 22–4 50 Automatic
13 Ohio MAC 16–7 51 Automatic
14 Eastern Washington Big Sky 16–7 58 Automatic
15 Grand Canyon WAC 17–6 59 Automatic
16* Norfolk State MEAC 16–7 67 Automatic
Appalachian State Sun Belt 17–11 68 Automatic
East Regional
Seed School Conference Record Overall Seed Berth type
1 Michigan Big Ten 20–4 4 At-Large
2 Alabama SEC 24–6 5 Automatic
3 Texas Big 12 19–7 11 Automatic
4 Florida State ACC 16–6 13 At-Large
5 Colorado Pac-12 22–8 20 At-Large
6 BYU West Coast 20–6 23 At-Large
7 UConn Big East 15–7 26 At-Large
8 LSU SEC 18–9 29 At-Large
9 St. Bonaventure Atlantic 10 16–4 39 Automatic
10 Maryland Big Ten 16–13 36 At-Large
11* Michigan State Big Ten 15–12 43 At-Large
UCLA Pac-12 17–9 44 At-Large
12 Georgetown Big East 13–12 47 Automatic
13 UNC Greensboro Southern 21–8 54 Automatic
14 Abilene Christian Southland 23–4 55 Automatic
15 Iona MAAC 12–5 62 Automatic
16* Mount St. Mary's Northeast 12–10 65 Automatic
Texas Southern SWAC 16–8 66 Automatic
South Regional
Seed School Conference Record Overall Seed Berth type
1 Baylor Big 12 22–2 2 At-Large
2 Ohio State Big Ten 21–9 6 At-Large
3 Arkansas SEC 22–6 9 At-Large
4 Purdue Big Ten 18–9 14 At-Large
5 Villanova Big East 16–6 18 At-Large
6 Texas Tech Big 12 17–10 22 At-Large
7 Florida SEC 14–9 28 At-Large
8 North Carolina ACC 18–10 31 At-Large
9 Wisconsin Big Ten 17–12 35 At-Large
10 Virginia Tech ACC 15–6 37 At-Large
11 Utah State Mountain West 20–8 42 At-Large
12 Winthrop Big South 23–1 49 Automatic
13 North Texas C-USA 17–9 52 Automatic
14 Colgate Patriot 14–1 57 Automatic
15 Oral Roberts Summit 16–10 61 Automatic
16 Hartford America East 15–8 64 Automatic
Midwest Regional
Seed School Conference Record Overall Seed Berth type
1 Illinois Big Ten 23–6 3 Automatic
2 Houston American 24–3 8 Automatic
3 West Virginia Big 12 18–9 10 At-Large
4 Oklahoma State Big 12 20–8 15 At-Large
5 Tennessee SEC 18–8 19 At-Large
6 San Diego State Mountain West 23–4 24 Automatic
7 Clemson ACC 16–7 27 At-Large
8 Loyola-Chicago Missouri Valley 24–4 30 Automatic
9 Georgia Tech ACC 17–8 34 Automatic
10 Rutgers Big Ten 15–11 40 At-Large
11 Syracuse ACC 16–9 41 At-Large
12 Oregon State Pac-12 17–12 46 Automatic
13 Liberty Atlantic Sun 23–5 53 Automatic
14 Morehead State Ohio Valley 23–7 56 Automatic
15 Cleveland State Horizon 19–7 60 Automatic
16 Drexel Colonial 12–7 63 Automatic

*See First Four


Tournament bracketEdit

* – Denotes overtime period

Note: Unlike past tournaments, teams are not grouped as pods. Second round games will match teams that played at different venues in the first round.

First Four – Bloomington and West LafayetteEdit

March 18 – West Regional
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
   
16 Norfolk State 54
16 Appalachian State 53
March 18 – West Regional
Mackey Arena
   
11 Wichita State 52
11 Drake 53
March 18 – East Regional
Mackey Arena
   
11 Michigan State 80
11 UCLA 86*
March 18 – East Regional
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
   
16 Mount St. Mary's 52
16 Texas Southern 60

West RegionalEdit

First Round
Round of 64
Saturday, March 20
Second Round
Round of 32
Monday, March 22
Regional Semifinals
Sweet 16
Sunday, March 28
Regional Final/Elite 8
Tuesday, March 30
(Lucas Oil Stadium)
            
1 Gonzaga 98
16 Norfolk State 55
1 Gonzaga 87
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (1/16)
Lucas Oil Stadium (8/9)
8 Oklahoma 71
8 Oklahoma 72
9 Missouri 68
1 Gonzaga 83
Hinkle Fieldhouse (1/8 and 5/13)
5 Creighton 65
5 Creighton 63
12 UC Santa Barbara 62
5 Creighton 72
Lucas Oil Stadium (5/12)
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (4/13)
13 Ohio 58
4 Virginia 58
13 Ohio 62
1 Gonzaga 85
Hinkle Fieldhouse (1/5)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (6/7)
6 USC 66
6 USC 72
11 Drake 56
6 USC 85
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (6/11)
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (3/14)
3 Kansas 51
3 Kansas 93
14 Eastern Washington 84
6 USC 82
Hinkle Fieldhouse (6/3)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7/2)
7 Oregon 68
7 Oregon WO
10 VCU[A]
7 Oregon 95
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (7/10 and 2/15)
2 Iowa 80
2 Iowa 86
15 Grand Canyon 74

West Regional FinalEdit

TBS
March 30
7:15 pm EDT
#6 USC Trojans 66, #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs 85
Scoring by half: 30–49, 36–36
Pts: I. Mobley, 19
Rebs: I. Mobley, 7
Asts: I. Mobley, E. Mobley, 3
Pts: D. Timme, 23
Rebs: J. Suggs, 10
Asts: J. Suggs, 8
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 6,166
Referees: Randy McCall, Doug Shows, Bert Smith, Tony Henderson [20]

West Regional all tournament teamEdit

East RegionalEdit

First Round
Round of 64
Saturday, March 20
Second Round
Round of 32
Monday, March 22
Regional Semifinals
Sweet 16
Sunday, March 28
Regional Final/Elite 8
Tuesday, March 30
(Lucas Oil Stadium)
            
1 Michigan 82
16 Texas Southern 66
1 Michigan 86
Mackey Arena (1/16)
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (8/9)
8 LSU 78
8 LSU 76
9 St. Bonaventure 61
1 Michigan 76
Lucas Oil Stadium (1/8)
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (5/4)
4 Florida State 58
5 Colorado 96
12 Georgetown 73
5 Colorado 53
Hinkle Fieldhouse (5/12)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (4/13)
4 Florida State 71
4 Florida State 64
13 UNC Greensboro 54
1 Michigan 49
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (1/4)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (11/2)
11 UCLA 51
6 BYU 62
11 UCLA 73
11 UCLA 67
Hinkle Fieldhouse (6/11)
Lucas Oil Stadium (3/14)
14 Abilene Christian 47
3 Texas 52
14 Abilene Christian 53
11 UCLA 88*
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (11/14 and 10/2)
2 Alabama 78
7 UConn 54
10 Maryland 63
10 Maryland 77
Mackey Arena (7/10)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (2/15)
2 Alabama 96
2 Alabama 68
15 Iona 55

East Regional FinalEdit

TBS
March 30
9:57 pm EDT
#11 UCLA Bruins 51, #1 Michigan Wolverines 49
Scoring by half: 27–23, 24–26
Pts: J. Juzang, 28
Rebs: J. Bernard, 9
Asts: J. Jaquez Jr., 4
Pts: H. Dickinson, 11
Rebs: C. Brown Jr., 9
Asts: E. Brooks, M. Smith, 4
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 7,515
Referees: Bo Boroski, Verne Harris, Lee Cassell

East Regional all tournament teamEdit

South RegionalEdit

First Round
Round of 64
Friday, March 19
Second Round
Round of 32
Sunday, March 21
Regional Semifinals
Sweet 16
Saturday, March 27
Regional Final/Elite 8
Monday, March 29
(Lucas Oil Stadium)
            
1 Baylor 79
16 Hartford 55
1 Baylor 76
Lucas Oil Stadium (1/16)
Mackey Arena (8/9)
9 Wisconsin 63
8 North Carolina 62
9 Wisconsin 85
1 Baylor 62
Hinkle Fieldhouse (1/9)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (5/13)
5 Villanova 51
5 Villanova 73
12 Winthrop 63
5 Villanova 84
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (5/12)
Lucas Oil Stadium (4/13)
13 North Texas 61
4 Purdue 69
13 North Texas 78*
1 Baylor 81
Hinkle Fieldhouse (1/5)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (3/15)
3 Arkansas 72
6 Texas Tech 65
11 Utah State 53
6 Texas Tech 66
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (6/11)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (3/14)
3 Arkansas 68
3 Arkansas 85
14 Colgate 68
3 Arkansas 72
Hinkle Fieldhouse (6/3)
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (7/15)
15 Oral Roberts 70
7 Florida 75*
10 Virginia Tech 70
7 Florida 78
Hinkle Fieldhouse (7/10)
Mackey Arena (2/15)
15 Oral Roberts 81
2 Ohio State 72
15 Oral Roberts 75*

South Regional FinalEdit

CBS
March 29
9:57 pm EDT
#3 Arkansas Razorbacks 72, #1 Baylor Bears 81
Scoring by half: 38–46, 34–35
Pts: D. Davis, J. Notae, 14
Rebs: J. Smith, D. Davis, D. Sills, 6
Asts: D. Sills, 4
Pts: M. Teague, 22
Rebs: J. Tchamwa Tchatchoua, 6
Asts: D. Mitchell, 6
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 7,519
Referees: Terry Oglesby, Jeff Clark, Paul Szelc

South Regional all tournament teamEdit

Midwest RegionalEdit

First Round
Round of 64
Friday, March 19
Second Round
Round of 32
Sunday, March 21
Regional Semifinals
Sweet 16
Saturday, March 27
Regional Final/Elite 8
Monday, March 29
(Lucas Oil Stadium)
            
1 Illinois 78
16 Drexel 49
1 Illinois 58
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (1/16)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (8/9)
8 Loyola–Chicago 71
8 Loyola–Chicago 71
9 Georgia Tech 60
8 Loyola–Chicago 58
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (1/8)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (12/4)
12 Oregon State 65
5 Tennessee 56
12 Oregon State 70
12 Oregon State 80
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (5/12)
Indiana Farmers Coliseum (4/13)
4 Oklahoma State 70
4 Oklahoma State 69
13 Liberty 60
12 Oregon State 61
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (8/12)
Hinkle Fieldhouse (11/2)
2 Houston 67
6 San Diego State 62
11 Syracuse 78
11 Syracuse 75
Hinkle Fieldhouse (6/11)
Lucas Oil Stadium (3/14)
3 West Virginia 72
3 West Virginia 84
14 Morehead State 67
11 Syracuse 46
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (11/3)
Lucas Oil Stadium (10/2)
2 Houston 62
7 Clemson 56
10 Rutgers 60
10 Rutgers 60
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7/10)
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (2/15)
2 Houston 63
2 Houston 87
15 Cleveland State 56

Midwest Regional FinalEdit

CBS
March 29
7:15 pm EDT
#12 Oregon State Beavers 61, #2 Houston Cougars 67
Scoring by half: 17–34, 44–33
Pts: M. Calloo, 13
Rebs: E. Thompson, 7
Asts: E. Thompson, 6
Pts: M. Sasser, 20
Rebs: J. Gorham, 10
Asts: D. Jarreau, 8
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 7,519
Referees: Ron Groover, Jeff Anderson, Mike Reed

Midwest Regional all tournament teamEdit

Final Four – Indianapolis, IndianaEdit

National Semifinals
Final Four
Saturday, April 3
National Championship Game
Monday, April 5
      
W1 Gonzaga 93*
E11 UCLA 90
W1 Gonzaga 70
S1 Baylor 86
S1 Baylor 78
MW2 Houston 59

National SemifinalsEdit

CBS
April 3
5:14 pm EDT
S1 Baylor Bears 78, MW2 Houston Cougars 59
Scoring by half: 45–20, 33–39
Pts: J. Butler, 17
Rebs: J. Tchamwa Tchatchoua, 6
Asts: D. Mitchell, 11
Pts: M. Sasser, 20
Rebs: J. Gorham, 6
Asts: J. Gorham, 3
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 8,131
Referees: Doug Sirmons, Pat Adams, Chris Rastatter
CBS
April 3
8:34 pm EDT
W1 Gonzaga Bulldogs 93, E11 UCLA Bruins 90 (OT)
Scoring by half: 45–44, 36–37 Overtime: 12–9
Pts: D. Timme, 25
Rebs: J. Ayayi, 6
Asts: A. Nembhard, 8
Pts: J. Juzang, 29
Rebs: C. Riley, 10
Asts: T. Campbell, 7
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 8,131
Referees: Ron Groover, Jeff Anderson, James Breeding

National ChampionshipEdit

CBS
April 5
9:20 pm EDT
S1 Baylor Bears 86, W1 Gonzaga Bulldogs 70
Scoring by half: 47–37, 39–33
Pts: J. Butler, 22
Rebs: M. Vital, 11
Asts: J. Butler, 7
Pts: J. Suggs, 22
Rebs: D. Timme, 5
Asts: A. Nembhard, 4
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana
Referees: Randy McCall, Bo Boroski, Keith Kimble

Final Four all-tournament teamEdit

Source:[21]

Record by conferenceEdit

Conference Bids Record Win % FF R64 R32 S16 E8 F4 CG NC
Big 12 7 11–6 .625 7 6 1 1 1 1 1
WCC 2 5–2 .714 2 1 1 1 1 1
American 2 4–2 .667 1 1 1 1 1 1
Pac-12 5 13–5 .722 1 5 5 4 3 1
Big Ten 9 8–9 .471 1 8 6 1 1
SEC 6 7–6 .538 6 4 2 1
ACC 7 4–7 .364 7 2 2
Big East 4 4–4 .500 4 2 2
Missouri Valley 2 3–2 .600 1 2 1 1
Summit 1 2–1 .667 1 1 1
C-USA 1 1–1 .500 1 1
MAC 1 1–1 .500 1 1
Southland 1 1–1 .500 1 1
MEAC 1 1–1 .500 1 1
SWAC 1 1–1 .500 1 1
Atlantic 10 2 0–1 .000 2
Mountain West 2 0–2 .000 2
America East 1 0–1 .000 1
Atlantic Sun 1 0–1 .000 1
Big Sky 1 0–1 .000 1
Big South 1 0–1 .000 1
Big West 1 0–1 .000 1
Colonial 1 0–1 .000 1
Horizon 1 0–1 .000 1
MAAC 1 0–1 .000 1
Ohio Valley 1 0–1 .000 1
Patriot 1 0–1 .000 1
Southern 1 0–1 .000 1
WAC 1 0–1 .000 1
Northeast 1 0–1 .000 1
Sun Belt 1 0–1 .000 1

Includes a game declared no-contest due to COVID-19 protocols with VCU. Oregon of the Pac-12 conference advanced to the Second Round and VCU of the Atlantic 10 conference was eliminated from the tournament.

  • The FF, R64, R32, S16, E8, F4, CG, and NC columns indicate how many teams from each conference were in the First Four, Round of 64 (First Round), Round of 32 (Second Round), Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16), Regional Finals (Elite Eight), National Semifinals (Final Four), National Championship Game, and national champion, respectively.
  • The Record column does not include wins or losses in games declared no-contest.

Media coverageEdit

TelevisionEdit

CBS Sports and Turner Sports had US television rights to the tournament.[22][23] As part of a cycle that began in 2016, CBS televised the 2021 Final Four and the National Championship Game. Because the 2020 tournament had been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, the last two rounds in back-to-back editions were broadcast on CBS for the first time since 2015 (Turner Sports would've broadcast the 2020 Final Four and National Championship according to the arrangement).

Television channelsEdit

  • First Four – truTV and TBS
  • First and Second Rounds – CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV
  • Regional Semifinals and Final (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight) – CBS and TBS
  • National Semifinals (Final Four) and Championship – CBS

Studio hostsEdit

  • Greg Gumbel (New York City and Indianapolis) – First Four, First Round, Second Round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
  • Ernie Johnson (Atlanta and Indianapolis) – First Four, First Round, Second Round, Regionals and Final Four
  • Adam Zucker (New York City) – First Round and Second Round
  • Matt Winer (Atlanta) – First Round (Game Breaks)

Studio analystsEdit

  • Charles Barkley (Atlanta and Indianapolis) – First Four, First Round, Second Round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
  • Seth Davis (New York City and Indianapolis) – First Four, First Round, Second Round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
  • Jim Jackson (Indianapolis) – National Championship Game
  • Andy Katz (Atlanta) – First Four, First Round, Second Round and Regionals
  • Clark Kellogg (New York City and Indianapolis) – First Four, First Round, Second Round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
  • Candace Parker (Indianapolis) – Final Four
  • Kenny Smith (Atlanta and Indianapolis) – First Four, First Round, Second Round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
  • Gene Steratore (New York City and Indianapolis) (Rules Analyst) – First Four, First Round, Second Round, Regionals, Final Four and National Championship Game
  • Wally Szczerbiak (New York City) – First Four, First Round, Second Round and Regionals

Commentary teamsEdit

ESPN International had international rights to the tournament. Coverage uses CBS/Turner play-by-play teams until the Final Four.[24]

Most-watched tournament gamesEdit

All times Eastern. Tournament seedings and region are in parentheses.

Rank Round Date Matchup Network Viewers (millions) TV Rating[25][26][27][28][29]
1 National Championship April 5, 2021, 9:20 ET (1 S) Baylor 86 (1 W) Gonzaga 70 CBS 16.92 9.4
2 Final Four April 3, 2021, 8:34 ET (11 E) UCLA 90 (1 W) Gonzaga 93 14.94 7.6
3 Sweet 16 March 28, 2021 5:00 ET (4 E) Florida State 58 (1 E) Michigan 76 9.03 5.1
4 Final Four April 3, 2021, 5:14 ET (2 MW) Houston 59 (1 S) Baylor 78 8.18 4.4
5 Round of 32 March 21, 2021, 5:15 ET (11 MW) Syracuse 75 (3 MW) West Virginia 72 7.86 4.5
6 Sweet 16 March 27, 2021 5:15 ET (5 S) Villanova 51 (1 S) Baylor 62 7.54 4.2
7 Round of 32 March 21, 2021, 2:40 ET (9 S) Wisconsin 63 (1 S) Baylor 76 7.42 4.5
8 Elite Eight March 30, 2021, 9:57 ET (11 E) UCLA 51 (1 E) Michigan 49 TBS 6.89 3.9
9 Sweet 16 March 28, 2021, 2:10 ET (5 W) Creighton 65 (1 W) Gonzaga 83 CBS 6.66 3.9
10 Sweet 16 March 28, 2021, 7:15 ET (11 E) UCLA 88 (2 E) Alabama 78 TBS 6.51 3.7

RadioEdit

InternetEdit

FastBreak is an online-only program providing whiparound coverage of all tournament games similar to NFL RedZone during the first weekend.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Game declared no contest due to COVID-19 protocols with VCU. Oregon advances in the tournament.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "NCAA announces early-round dates for tourney". ESPN.com. January 19, 2021. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  2. ^ "NCAA announces further details for 2021 Division I men's basketball championship". Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  3. ^ "Gonzaga, Baylor, Illinois, Michigan get top seeds in NCAA men's basketball tournament". ESPN.com. March 14, 2021. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  4. ^ Thamel, Pete (March 22, 2021). "Why this may already be the craziest NCAA men's tournament ever". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "Ivy League cancels basketball season for 2020-21 as part of ban on winter sports due to COVID-19". CBSSports.com. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  6. ^ "DI Council approves Nov. 25 start date for men's and women's basketball". NCAA. September 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "New bracketing principles adopted for 2021 NCAA tournament". NCAA.com. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  8. ^ Gleeson, Scott (March 14, 2021). "March Madness: Here's how Duke could play in the 2021 NCAA Tournament after all". USA Today. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  9. ^ Gleeson, Scott; Mast, Shelby (March 14, 2021). "NCAA Tournament bracketology: Final March Madness projection on Selection Sunday". USA Today. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  10. ^ Wells, Adam (February 21, 2021). "NCAA Tournament teams won't be replaced if forced to withdraw due to COVID-19". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  11. ^ "NCAA tournament to be held entirely in Indiana". ESPN.com. January 4, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021.
  12. ^ Benbow, Dana Hunsinger; Doyel, Gregg; Osterman, Zach. "It's official: 2021 NCAA tournament to be played entirely in Central Indiana, Indianapolis". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "A limited number of fans will be allowed to attend 2021 NCAA Tournament games". CBSSports.com. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
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