CLEVELAND – College basketball fans, start making plans for March 20 and March 22, 2020. First and second round action in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will take place at Quicken Loans Arena.
The NCAA announced the news on Tuesday afternoon. Cleveland State University, the Mid-American Conference and the Great Cleveland Sports Commission will team up to host six exciting college basketball games in the span of three days in 2020.
“It’s an honor to receive this selection with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Mid-American Conference,” Cleveland State Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said in a release from the university. “We are excited for the NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second rounds games to be hosted in the City of Cleveland and have another opportunity to showcase our University and the community.”
“The award of the 2020 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Round is testimony to the faith and trust the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has in the Mid-American Conference and in Cleveland,” Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference said in a release from the conference. “We have spent considerable time and effort in building our relationship with the NCAA Championship staff to showcase the Mid-American Conference, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Quicken Loans Arena as a special partnership designed to deliver first-class championship events. The MAC and its partners have always been committed to conducting first-class, fiscally responsible events. We look forward to hosting the Men’s Basketball First and Second Round in 2020 at The Q.”
Cleveland last hosted NCAA men’s tournament action in 2015. Quicken Loans Arena hosted the Midwest regionals in 2015. The Kentucky Wildcats beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to advance to the Final Four that year.
Cleveland hosted second and third round action of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2011. The top seeded Ohio State Buckeyes were the headline team playing at Quicken Loans Arena. The 2011 Buckeyes featured Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas, David Lighty, William Buford, Jon Diebler and Dallas Lauderdale. The Buckeyes would win their games over Texas-San Antonio and George Mason to advance to the ‘Sweet 16’. Ohio State would be upset by the Kentucky Wildcats in the ‘Sweet 16.’
2020 will mark the fourth time Quicken Loans Arena will host division one tournament basketball action. In 2007, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers won the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in Cleveland. It was one of eight national championships for the late Pat Summit during her Hall of Fame career as the head coach of the Lady Volunteers.
If you can’t wait until 2020 to see NCAA tournament action, don’t worry. Tournament action is just a short drive away each of the next two years. in 2018, first and second round action takes place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. In 2019, the Ohio State Buckeyes will host first and second round action at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The first four games will remain in Dayton thru the 2022 season.