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Dates unveiled for 2021 NCAA tournament

It’s going to be different.

NCAA Football Covers - Oklahoma Sooners’ Hollis Price - March 17, 2003 Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

We’ve known for a while now that the 2021 NCAA tournament was going to be different, but just how different is beginning to take form.

On Tuesday, the NCAA unveiled the sites and preliminary dates for the 2021 Big Dance, and it’s ... different.

Here are the main dates you need to know when you’re planning your March schedule:

First Four: Thursday, March 18 (all four games)

First Round: Friday, Saturday March 19-20

Second Round: Sunday, Monday March 21-22

Sweet 16: Saturday, Sunday March 27-28

Elite Eight: Monday, Tuesday March 29-30

Final Four: Saturday, Monday April 3 and 5

I’m not exactly sure why we need a near week break between the second round and the Sweet 16 since there’s going to be no travel for any of these teams, but I’ll just assume it has something to do with money and move on.

I know it’s different, I know some of it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense, but I’m just glad to see a plan in place. Two years without any sort of tournament might have broken me.