This morning, the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee named Georgetown University one of the hosts for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Georgetown will host the East Regional at their home arena, the Verizon Center.
This is the first time Georgetown hosts the regional finals since 2006, in addition to the Verizon Center’s first tournament games since 2010. The East Regional – better known as the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight – will be held on Thursday, March 28, and Saturday, March 30.
In a statement, Athletic Director Lee Reed said, “Along with Verizon Center, we’re very excited to serve as the host for the 2013 NCAA East Regional. It is part of our University’s commitment to be engaged with the community and we’re happy to bring this great event to our city for Georgetown fans and others who love March Madness.”
With the announcement, Washington DC joins Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and Arlington, Texas as regional hosts. The weekend’s slate ultimately decides who advances to the Final Four, to be held in Atlanta next season. If the Hoyas manage to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, they will be switching time zones – as the host school for the East Regional, they cannot be placed in the region.
This year’s tournament holds great significance as the 75th iteration of a tradition that has grown from eight teams back in 1939 to 68 teams in its current format. All of the other locations were selected back in 2009, but the committee delayed a decision on the East Regional until today.
“In 2009, when the committee selected hosts for the 75th tournament, there was a concerted effort to include cities with a rich history to help mark that milestone,” said Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s executive vice president for championships and alliances said in a statement. “The decision to delay the announcement of the East Regional site was made because the committee wanted to explore several options. In the end, we think celebrating 75 years of one of the country’s favorite sporting events in our nation’s capital and a great basketball city is fitting.”
Photo: Jackson Perry