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Coach Okay: One-city tourney plan is likely to be insanity

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While he’s interested to learn more about the concept, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said hosting an NCAA tournament in one city is a monumental undertaking.

“Logistically, I think it’s a challenge to get that many teams there,” Krzyzewski said.

Earlier this week, NCAA senior vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt said 13 preliminary sites had been eliminated and the 2021 version of the NCAA tournament instead will be hosted in one location.

Officials have commenced talks with the city of Indianapolis as the primary site, although Gavitt stressed that those talks were preliminary. A health department official in Marion County, where the event would take place, told ESPN that it had not been contacted about the NCAA’s plans.

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The tournament is a financial necessity for the NCAA, which lost $375 million when the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus.

“We need to have the tournament,” said Krzyzewski, who had previously recommended an all-inclusive tournament where every Division I team would get an invite. “There’s no question.”

Krzyzewski said he would participate in a call Thursday with the National Association of Basketball Coaches and Gavitt to understand the specifics of the NCAA’s one-site concept.

Duke’s coach also said he has concerns about the season, which is set to begin next week.

Multiple programs have had to shut down their teams because of concerns about the coronavirus. Current NCAA guidelines call for teams to pause activities for two weeks if a player, staffer or coach (Tier 1) tests positive.

“I’m glad that (the NCAA is) looking at different things, including I would hope they always keep in mind that if it did get bad, worse than what it is, that maybe you could have (the season) later,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve always been a proponent of that, starting the season later.”

Duke announced last week that fans would not be allowed at Cameron Indoor Stadium this season. The school will use other measures to “honor” them but will not use cutouts, Krzyzewski said.

“For all these kids, it’s just a different environment,” Krzyzewski said.

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Melinda Martin