The 2010-2011 NCAA college basketball season is well underway and the annual Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament is less than two months away. So it’s a good time for TheRealPlaces.com guide to finding hotels near this year’s basketball tournament venues.
You may not know that the NCAA has decided to expand the men’s tournament from 65 to 68 teams for 2011. This means that the old first round “play-in” game has now become a series of four games called the “First Four”. For 2011 the games will be played March 15-16 in Dayton, Ohio, where the play-in game was held from 2001-2010. If your favorite college basketball team is lucky/unlucky enough to be designated one of the lowest ranked teams in the bracket, you may find our guide to the hotels closest to University of Dayton Arena of value.
Second and third round games begin for the winners of the “First Four” and the other 60 teams on March 17th. Basketball fans in the mid-Atlantic region can head to Washington, DC and choose from any of the hotels near Verizon Center for the games to be held on March 17th and 19th. The University of Arizona will also host games on the 17th and 19th in Tucson. Fans coming from out-of-town will find plenty of places to stay near McKale Center. Denver and Tampa are also the sites of games, and we’ve got comprehensive lists of Pepsi Center hotels in Denver and hotels closest to St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.
The second and third round tournament games scheduled for March 18th and 20th will be held in Cleveland, Charlotte, Chicago and Tulsa. The Cleveland Cavaliers will step aside for the weekend so college basketball fans can take over Quicken Loans Arena. You can be sure that there will be a loud crowd in basketball-crazy North Carolina, probably spilling over to the hotels near Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena, for the games in Charlotte. The United Center on Chicago’s west side will be rocking, as will the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa (and we’ve even compiled a guide to hotels near BOK Center).
The “Sweet Sixteen” of the tournament will get back into action the following weekend (March 24th through 27th). The top four teams in the West Region will gather in Anaheim and will stay at some of the closest Honda Center hotels and motels. This year’s Southeast Region comes to a conclusion at the New Orleans Arena in Louisiana. There will be lots of seats (over 39,000) available for the Southwest Regional finals at the Alamodome in San Antonio on March 25th and 27th. And the New York metropolitan area’s biggest college hoops fans will be in attendance in Newark, as well as traveling fans staying at hotels near Prudential Center.
The best of the best of this year’s college basketball team will participate in “Final Four”, to be held April 2nd and 4th at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.