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NCAA prepares for start of March Madness

"092:365 Basketball" by GonchoA is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

The NCAA begins its college basketball tournament today (Thurs.) after the so-called “March Madness” was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 is still making this March particularly maddening.

For the first time ever, the tournament won’t be spread across the country -- the women’s teams play just in the San Antonio area, the men’s teams are in and around Indianapolis.

Four games today will actually determine who completes the men’s 64-team bracket.

The marquee contest matches Michigan State against UCLA.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says its been tough just to get this far.

“Dog eat dog man…that’s what this year’s about," said Izzo. "Early January…little bit of a slump. And then the COVID…I think it’s been that way the whole time…we’ve been fighting an uphill battle.”

Teams are staying in a kind of quarantine bubble of hotel floors and any that suffer an outbreak of COVID will in essence forfeit their game.