We’re only month away from the start of the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament and that means it’s time for our annual guide to hotels at the NCAA tournament sites. This year’s tournament starts March 13th in Dayton, Ohio and finishes with the championship game in New Orleans on April 2nd.
The “Final Four” will be played March 31st and April 2nd at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. It’ll be the fifth time the tournament’s final games have been played at the Superdome (also the site of New Orleans Saints and Tulane Green Wave home games and the annual Sugar Bowl).
The regional finals will be held the weekend of March 22nd through March 25th in Boston, St. Louis, Atlanta and Phoenix. The final four games of the East region are scheduled for Boston’s TD Garden on March 22nd and 24th. The best of the Midwest will play at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Friday 3/23 and Sunday 3/25. The South region finals will be hosted by the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on 3/23 and 3/25. And games in the West region will finish at US Airways Center in Phoenix on Thursday March 22nd and Saturday March 24th.
Second and third round games will be played March 15th through March 18th at eight sites around the country (note that games played at each of these venues aren’t necessarily associated with the part of the country where they’re held – it’s entirely possible that you’ll seen two teams from the “West” region of the tournament playing in Pittsburgh):
“The Pit” at the University of New Mexico – Albuquerque – March 15th and 17th
CONSOL Energy Center – Pittsburgh – March 15th and 17th
Rose Garden – Portland, Oregon – March 15th and 17th
KFC Yum! Center – Louisville – March 15th and 17th
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, Ohio – March 16th and 18th
Greensboro Coliseum – Greensboro, NC – March 16th and 18th
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville – March 16th and 18th
CenturyLink Center – Omaha – March 16th and 18th
Once again, the first round of games (now called the “First Four”) will be played at the University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday March 13th and Wednesday March 14th.
If you live in the 400 mile Nashville to Louisville to Dayton to Columbus corridor, you have an opportunity to see a whole lot of great college basketball in March. And Pittsburgh is only a 3 hour drive east from Columbus. Nice job spreading things out all over the country, Mr. NCAA!