LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- These will be an NCAA basketball tournaments — men’s and women’s — unlike any other, and another element of intrigue was added to the events Thursday when the NCAA announced its plan for how to replace teams that might be forced to miss the tournament because of issues with the novel coronavirus.

Here are the highlights of that plan as shared by the NCAA:

  • Once the bracket is finalized and released, teams will not be reseeded, nor will the bracket change.
  • Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure a full field is in place before the start of the championship. No replacement teams will be introduced after the championship begins.
  • Every participating conference should have the opportunity for a minimum of one team in the championship field.
  • Beyond the goal of having at least one team from every conference, replacement teams must be among the best teams being considered for an at-large bid.

The field for the men’s tournament will be 68 teams. It will be announced at 6 p.m. March 14 on CBS. The entire event will be played in the Indianapolis area.

The women’s field, only 64 teams, will be announced at 7 p.m. March 15 on ESPN. That event will be played in metropolitan San Antonio, Texas.

Neither tournament was played last season after COVID-19 shut down college sports on March 12. The NCAA has remained committed to completing both events this season.

The NCAA also said there were separate policies for when a team is forced to withdraw: one for before the announcement of the championship field and one for after the release of the bracket. Replacement teams will only be introduced into the championship within 48 hours after the announcement of the field, and at no time thereafter.

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