This year is the first time in history that the NCAA is holding its entire tournament in one city and it also marks the return of tournament basketball to a Hoosier venue that has seen many magic moments in its own history.
The first game of the 2021 tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse tips off at 12:15 p.m. on Friday.
John Dedman, Associated Athletic Director of Butler University shared more about the legacy of the big dance and the arena where a large part of Indiana's basketball history lives. Watch his interview in the video player above.
Dedman said, he knows the history of Hinkle Fieldhouse, at least dating back to when he was a student at Butler Univeristy.
He said, “There are so many things about Hinkle that are so unique, and we're adding another page to that this week. For a building that's been around for more than 90 years, we've only hosted NCAA tournament games once back in 1940.”
“And then, you know, of course, over the years it's you know it's it's hosted so many unique things from presidents to Jesse Owens ran here in 1936 as part of the relays that were once here,” said Dedman.
He explained, “You know just so many different things over the years have been hosted here, but at the core of it, you know Hinkle Fieldhouse is a basketball venue. For decades the high school championships were held here, you know the game that the movie Hoosiers is based off of that game was actually played here.”
WRTV asked him, “What does it mean to you personally then to have the NCAA March Madness tournament at Hinkle?”
"You know, from a, from a Hinkle standpoint, from a Butler University standpoint, you know, we're just really excited to be able to showcase what and this beautiful venue to so many people. Whether that's a national television audience or that that's visitors who are coming here with their team for the first time seeing a game at Hinkle."
We have three games a day, all the way through the sweet 16 and I'm really both hopeful and confident that we're going to have a great tournament.
Butler University also put together a full History of Hinkle Fieldhouse timline.