INDIANAPOLIS — The Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced Monday that the First Four will be played at the University of Dayton Arena in 2012 and 2013.
Last March’s inaugural First Four in Dayton included VCU, which ended up advancing to the Final Four.
The format for the four first-round games will remain the same; the 2012 First Four features two games being played March 13 and the other two taking place March 14. First Four winners will advance to second- and third-round sites, which include Albuquerque, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Portland on March 15 and 17, and Columbus, Greensboro, Nashville and Omaha on March 16 and 18.
Each night’s action will pit two No. 16 seeds battling for the right to play a second-round game against a top-seeded team. Those games will be followed by contests featuring two of the last four at-large teams selected to the field. All four games will be broadcast on Turner Broadcasting’s truTV. The entire 68-team field will be announced on March 11 (6 p.m. ET, CBS).
“Dayton has hosted 87 tournament games over the last 41 years, including the start of each championship since 2001, and the feedback from participating schools, the community’s enthusiasm and the commitment demonstrated by the University of Dayton staff make Dayton an ideal host for the First Four,” said Gene Smith, director of athletics at Ohio State University and chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
“Last year, the committee explored several options when determining how the First Four should look and where it would be played. We decided Dayton would be best to host the inaugural event and now we believe we should start the championship in Dayton through the championship’s 75th anniversary in 2013. We’ll continue to evaluate the First Four and explore how we can work with our hosts in Dayton to make it even better.”
Regional hosts for the 2012 championship include Atlanta, Boston, Phoenix and St. Louis, and the Final Four will be held at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on March 31 and April 2, 2012.
In addition to hosting the First Four, Dayton will also serve as a second- and third-round host for the 2013 championship, as will Auburn Hills, Austin, Kansas City, Lexington, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and San Jose. Regional sites include Arlington, Indianapolis and Los Angeles, with the fourth site to be determined.
The 75th Final Four will take place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on April 6 and 8, 2013.
Tickets to the 2012 First Four, as well as the other preliminary round sites for the 2012 championship, will be available in October by visiting www.NCAA.com/mbbtickets.