There is still madness in the NCAAs, it’s just a bit quieter

Sports

Villanova plays Winthrop in the second half of a first round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament at Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Friday, March 19, 2021. Restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have limited crowds, reduced interactions and created an abnormal NCAA experience for those involved. It’s sacrifices they’ve all been asked to make by the NCAA to pull off a tournament in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The games during the first week of the NCAA Tournament have still brought madness. But it’s a much quieter version.

Restrictions due to the pandemic have limited crowds. Despite the restrictions, despite the lack of fans, the quiet atmospheres and being separate from friends and family, the joy is still there.

Georgia Tech students roared inside Hinkle Fieldhouse until getting silenced by Loyola Chicago. Same with the hundreds of Grand Canyon students who were on hand for the first round matchup against Iowa.

Coaches and players say it’s different, but they are happy to be playing.

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