The NCAA Tournament is chock-full of excitement from the first tip off. That’s why, sometimes, one of the more important items of the madness is overlooked: the stadiums. Well, not here at TicketCity – we cherish the stadiums that hold the games we love.
Throughout the week, we will be giving an overview of all the stadiums that will be (kinda) featured in the NCAA tournament. Because without them, all of our brackets would be busted from the go. Today, we’re featuring the Quicken Loans Arena, Time Warner Cable Arena, United Center.
Quicken Loans Arena
Since it was opened in 1994, the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, has played host to a wide variety of events. Though it is primarily known as the home court of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the venue was also the site of numerous AHL hockey games and AFL football games. It has been tapped as the location of the first two rounds of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on March 18 and 20.
The arena has seen a lot of crucial NBA games in recent memory, and has even hosted two games in the 2007 NBA Finals. However, it has also been the location of some memorable college games as well, hosting the MAC men’s basketball tournament since 2000, when it was previous known as Gund Arena. The 2010 MAC tournament was one of the most dramatic, as it saw ninth seeded Ohio snatch the tournament crown.
In addition to hosting a pair of games of the 2007 NBA Finals, Quicken Loans Arena was also the site of the women’s Final Four that year. Tennessee beat Rutgers 59-46 to win the national title that year.
Time Warner Cable Arena
As the home of the Charlotte Bobcats and the prospective site for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the Time Warner Cable Arena is one of the newest venues in the United States. Opened just six years ago, the arena holds more than 19,000 spectators and has housed everything from concerts to pro-wrestling. It has been selected to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament on March 18 and 20.
Though it was built in 2005, the Time Warner Cable Arena has hosted NCAA Tournament games once before, in 2008, when it was selected as one of the regional sites. In fact, that year the eventual national champion - North Carolina - came out of that region by beating Louisville 83-73 in their regional final. Surprisingly, there were no upsets, as every game in the region went to the higher seeded team.
It has also been the site of several conference tournaments, including the 2008 ACC Tournament, won by the Tar Heels, as well as the 2010 Southern Conference Tournament, which went to Wofford.
Few arenas have seen as much basketball action as the United Center in Chicago. As the home of both the Chicago Bulls and the NHL’s Blackhawks, this venue has been one of the most widely used in all of sports since it was built in the early 1990s. It has also hosted NCAA Tournament games an impressive seven times, with one more on tap for 2011, as it is as the site of first and second round action.
Perhaps the most well known event to take place at the United Center was the Bull’s championship run of the mid ’90s. However, it has also seen its fair share of legendary college tournament games over the year as well.
The most recent occasion it was tapped as a location for the tournament was in 2007. That year, perhaps the most memorable game was a surprising upset of the second seeded Wisconsin Badgers by UNLV - the Runnin’ Rebels were able to edge Wisconsin 74-68 before falling to Oregon in the Sweet 16.
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