INDIANAPOLIS — The boys' state basketball championships are moving back a week to make way for March Madness.
The IHSAA announced Monday that the state finals will now be played on April 3 to "provide flexibility for scheduling the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in Bankers Life Fieldhouse."
The entire NCAA Tournament is taking place in the state of Indiana this year, with Bankers Life Fieldhouse serving as one of the host arenas. The weekend of March 27-28, which was the original date for the boys' state finals, is the weekend of the NCAA regional finals, or "Elite Eight."
Lucas Oil Stadium will host the Final Four the following Saturday as the high school championships are being played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The national championship game will take place on Monday, April 5.
The IHSAA Executive Committee approved the schedule change after discussions with their partners with the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“Our Executive Committee felt it was most important to preserve the experience for our young people of playing for a state championship in Bankers Life Fieldhouse,” Commissioner Paul Neidig said.
The dates for the rest of the tournament remain unchanged, with sectional games starting March 2. Semi-state games will still be played on March 20, giving the participating teams two weeks to prepare for the state finals.
The IHSAA noted the only other time the boys' state basketball finals were held in April was 1978, when the tournament was delayed by winter weather and an energy crunch.