The NCAA Tournament Will Be Played Without Fans

Credit:

Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.

It’s official. In response to COVID-19, fans will not be allowed at NCAA Tournament games starting next week.

Only essential personnel and limited family will attend the games.

NCAA President Mark Emmert did say in his statement that the organization will “continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”

Is There a Betting Impact?

We are a sports gambling media entity, so even if sports gambling is at the bottom of the priority list on a piece of national news, we tend to cover it anyway.

The NCAA Tournament is played all on neutral courts, which in theory means that teams with big fanbases nearby will lose an edge they otherwise had.

But it’s impossible to truly quantify the impact a favorable crowd has on home-court advantage. Travel, rest, familiarity with the shooting environment and more also play a part in the edge that a home team usually gets.


Read what oddsmakers had to say about the effect of no crowds in the upcoming college basketball tournaments.


Monitor conference tournaments that will be played without fans this week — the MAC and Big Sky are among them right now — to see if anything changes. Maybe fewer fouls will be called since there’s no crowd pressure. Maybe shooting will improve because the backdrops behind the baskets will be more consistently colored.

But for now, handicap and bet as you were.

It’s going to be a strange sight, but for now, the NCAA Tournament will go on, just with no crowds.

Scheduled NCAA Tournament Sites

First and Second Round Sites

St. Louis, Mo.

  • Venue: Enterprise Center
  • Dates: March 19, 21

Omaha, Neb.

  • Venue: CenturyLink Center Omaha
  • Dates: March 20, 22

Tampa, Fla.

  • Venue: Amalie Arena
  • Dates: March 19, 21

Greensboro, N.C.

  • Venue: Greensboro Coliseum
  • Dates: March 20, 22

Spokane, Wash.

  • Venue: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
  • Dates: March 19, 21

Sacramento, Calif.

  • Venue: Golden 1 Center
  • Dates: March 20, 22

Albany, N.Y.

  • Venue: Times Union Center
  • Dates: March 19, 21

Cleveland, Ohio

  • Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
  • Dates: March 20, 22

Sweet 16 and Elite 8 Sites

Midwest Regional

  • Location: Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Dates: March 26, 28

West Regional

  • Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Venue: STAPLES Center
  • Dates: March 26, 28

East Regional

  • Location: New York, N.Y.
  • Venue: Madison Square Garden
  • Dates: March 27, 29

South Regional

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Venue: Toyota Center
  • Dates: March 27, 29

Final Four

  • Location: Atlanta, Ga.
  • Host: Georgia Tech
  • Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • Dates: April 4, 6
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