INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The NCAA tournament starts on Thursday with all 68 teams in Indiana.
Basketball is a part of Indiana history, and there is no doubt that this tournament will be historic and people in Indianapolis are ready to play ball.
“Everybody loves basketball here,” said Louwanda Dixon, who lives in Indianapolis.
Love is an understatement. For Indiana, basketball in March is a kind of madness.
“Oh it’s so exciting, so so exciting. Everybody is basketball, Final Four, just ready to go!” said Kelly Hail, who lives in Indianapolis.
Fans are ready for 67 games at six venues, all in Indiana.
“Basketball is a huge deal, I feel like we sweat it, we live it, we breath it, we love it. So for the sport of basketball to come to our state in the monumental time is just perfect,” said Brett Kramer with Indiana Sports Corp.
Indiana Sports Corp is helping choreograph the “Big Dance.” While excitement is the NCAA Tournament’s top scorer, the pandemic means a lot of defense.
“We are encouraging everybody to keep socially distancing and masking up. We are really working with the Marion County Health Department on both what is happening inside the controlled environment and outside,” said Kramer. “So we are just encouraging people to stay safe.”
Tournament teams are in a basketball bubble with COVID-19 contact tracing devices. For fans, the health crisis means safety precautions and 25% limited capacity in the stands.
Still, after last year’s cancelled tournament, getting to this day is simply slam dunk.
“Loving it, loving it. Just loving the vibe and us being able to get out and being able to enjoy the weather. Enjoy the stadium’s, enjoy all the people and fans from different areas. Just loving it,” said Hail.
The games are sure to reenergize people in Indiana with hope, hoops and Hoosier hysteria, the only way March can.