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2020 was set to be a big year for sports in the United States. Several professional and collegiate sports leagues had big plans when the year began. This was, of course, a great sign for other businesses including the sports betting industry which had been on a roll since the United States Supreme Court abolished PASPA thus lifting the federal ban on sports betting.
While some leagues managed to host some events and keep the ball rolling on some events amid the pandemic, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was not so lucky. March Madness, the league’s flagship event series was among the first to be canceled. Besides impacting the league, itself, the cancellation was also a huge blow for sports betting.
Many experts have pointed out that March Madness is a “sort of epitome of sports betting” because it is a unique combo of several high-profile and unpredictable events going down within a very short time. Moreover, the NCAA has only just recently warmed up to the idea of sports betting. Thankfully, 2021 is poised to be much better.
The Planned Return of March Madness
The NCAA is yet to make an official announcement but it is widely speculated that the 2021 men’s tournament will be held in Indianapolis. The league’s officials already announced that the Division I men’s tournaments in a single location. This is very exciting news because it implies that we can look forward to some very juicy matchups when it begins. Sports bettors can thus expect some very exciting college basketball odds from Vegas, especially because now more states than ever before are pursuing sports betting.
Even though the geographical component of bracketing may be on the sidelines, some other bracketing principles will still stand. Still, the flexibility is certainly a breath of fresh air and it stands to significantly make up for the massive gap that was left when 2020’s March Madness was axed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A Few Hiccups
As good as the development surrounding 2021’s March Madness seems to be getting, there are still a few concerns that will have to be addressed. Perhaps the most notable one is the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is yet to be fully contained. But the virus is not the only thing that is raising some eyebrows when it comes to talk of the return of March Madness.
Plans for the NCAA tournaments seem to be proceeding well but the league has recently faced some backlash for its decision to file a trademark for the term “March Madness”. This mostly caught the public’s attention because it seems to point to the league potentially making money from mask awareness during a global pandemic.
Considering how sensitive this particular issue is, the NCAA will of course have to weigh in at some point. A lot of anticipation is building up for March Madness and bad publicity is probably the last thing they need right now.
All in all, it is still great to know that all the necessary precautions are being taken to ensure that both the fans and the players are protected during the games. Mask wearing is likely not the only thing that will be needed.