NCAA Bracket 2021: March Madness Tournament Schedule and Coverage

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IMarch 11, 2021

Michigan center Hunter Dickinson (1) is fouled by Michigan State forward Julius Marble II (34) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Championship Week is in full swing, with a number of teams around the country already clinching automatic berths to the 2021 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

There is plenty to settle before Selection Sunday, with the outcome of the Big Ten Tournament likely to have a major impact on top seeds.

Here is a closer look at the full schedule of play and television coverage details for March Madness, in addition to some of the top headlines ahead of tipoff.


2021 NCAA Tournament Schedule  

Selection Sunday: March 14 at 6 p.m. ET on CBS

First Four: March 18 at Mackey Arena and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall; coverage begins 4 p.m. ET on truTV and TBS

First Round: March 18-20 at Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum and Lucas Oil Stadium; coverage begins 12 p.m. ET on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV

Second Round: March 21-22 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and Lucas Oil Stadium; coverage begins 12 p.m ET on TBS, CBS, TNT and 

Sweet 16: March 27-28 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse

Elite Eight: March 29-30 at Lucas Oil Stadium

Final Four: April 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium

National Championship: April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium  


Television Coverage   

Selection Sunday: 6 p.m. ET on CBS

First Four: 4 p.m. ET on truTV and TBS

First Round: 12 p.m. ET on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV

Second Round: 12 p.m ET on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV

Sweet 16: Coverage starts at 2 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET on March 27 and 1 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET on March 28; afternoon games on CBS, primetime games on TBS

Elite Eight: Coverage starts at 7 p.m ET on March 29 and 6 p.m. ET on March 30; Monday's games can be seen on CBS, Tuesday's games carried by TBS

Final Four: 5 p.m. ET on CBS

National Championship: 9 p.m. ET on CBS   


All dates and TV schedules can be found on the tournament website.


Gonzaga Remains Unbeaten   

Mark Few's Gonzaga Bulldogs have gone wire-to-wire as the best team in the country, though BYU gave the Zags a tough test in the men's WCC Championship.

Gonzaga gave up 53 points and trailed by 12 at the half. The Zags looked to be in danger of possibly missing out on the top overall seed. But star freshman Jalen Suggs wouldn't let it happen.

Suggs took over down the stretch, hitting multiple big three-pointers and consistently creating offense for teammates. He scored eight points in a two-minute, 33-second span during which he also hit on a full-court assist to Joel Ayayi and recorded a block on the other end.

The freshman's late-game heroics were a microcosm of what makes Gonzaga so dangerous. Corey Kispert and Drew Timme are usually the team's top scoring options, but it was Suggs who made all the plays when it mattered most. Both Ayayi and Andrew Nembhard were in double figures for the Zags.

Few's crew will be tough to beat. Gonzaga led the country in both scoring and offensive rating. They have diverse options, with Timme operating on the low block and Kispert always posing a threat from beyond the arc. And Suggs is as good a playmaker and shot-creator as any.

Can the Zags complete the perfect season and win the first men's basketball championship in school history?


Chaos in the Big Ten   

The Big Ten has been the best conference in college basketball this season.

Four teams ranked in the top 10 of the latest AP poll. Illinois moved up to No. 3 after a win at Ohio State, while the Michigan Wolverines fell to No. 4 in the nation. The Iowa Hawkeyes are at No. 5, and the Buckeyes are at No. 9.

That's not all, either. The Purdue Boilermakers moved up to No. 20, with both Wisconsin and Michigan State on the edge of the top 25.

Needless to say, there could be carnage during the men's Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.

Is it possible the Big Ten could get three No. 1 seeds? Gonzaga would seem to have the top overall seed locked up. The Baylor Bears would all but clinch a No. 1 seed by winning the men's Big 12 tournament. But it appears well within reach for the Big Ten to get at least two No. 1 seeds—and maybe even three if the Bears suffer an early upset.


All stats obtained via Sports Reference unless otherwise noted.