The NCAA men's basketball tournament is returning to Hartford, Connecticut.
The NCAA announced Tuesday that the XL Center in Hartford will hold 2019 first- and second-round tournament games with the University of Connecticut as the host school. The dates are March 21 and 23.
"This is great news for sports fans in Hartford and all around Connecticut," UConn athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. "As we all know, the NCAA men's basketball championship is one of the world's premier sporting events and I am thrilled that it is coming to our home state. All of us at UConn are excited to be working with the XL Center on hosting a first-class tournament."
The UConn men, however, will not be eligible to play in Hartford if they are selected to the 2019 field. Teams are not allowed to play at sites where their institution is serving as a host.
The games will mark the return of the tournament to Hartford for the first time since 1998.
"The NCAA's announcement that they are choosing Hartford to host the men's basketball tournament for the first time in over 20 years is proof positive that our state and our capital city remain attractive destinations for large-scale events like this," Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. "Above all, this is exciting news for businesses who will benefit from the increased economic output that a tournament of this size will bring to the region.
"Today's announcement is exactly why we need to ensure that the XL Center continues to function as a state-of-the-art, modernized facility well into the future. Hosting everything from concerts to conferences to major sporting events, the XL Center is an important regional economic driver, generating tax revenue, supporting the surrounding business district, and creating jobs for residents." Six other NCAA events are slated for Connecticut.
Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport will host a 2018 Division I men's hockey regional, while the 2019 NCAA Women's Frozen Four hockey championships is set for Quinnipiac University's TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden.
A 2019 Division I men's lacrosse quarterfinal will be held at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, as will the 2021 and 2022 Division I, Division II, and Division III men's lacrosse championships.
The 2022 Division I men's golf regional will be held at The Course at Yale University in New Haven.
The NCAA announced the 2019 and 2020 women's basketball regional sites Tuesday and the Sweet 16 will return to Albany's Times-Union Center in 2019. Albany also hosted a regional in 2015 with UConn defeating Dayton and Texas en route to its 10th national championship.
The other 2019 regional sites are Chicago, Greensboro (North Carolina), and Portland (Oregon). Portland will also a 2020 regional with the other sites being Dallas (Texas), Fort Wayne (Indiana), and Greenville (South Carolina).
The sites for the 2018 regionals - Albany, Lexington (Kentucky), Kansas City (Missouri), and Spokane (Washington) - were announced in late 2014. ==The 2018 Final Four will be at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with the 2019 Final Four at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, and the 2020 Final Four at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
The UConn women have made 24 straight Sweet 16 and 10 consecutive Final Four appearances.
BERUBE ACCEPTS USA U-16 POST
Former UConn star and current Tufts University coach Carla Berube has been named the head coach of the United States U-16 national team that will compete in the 2017 FIBA Americas Championship June 7-11 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, USA Basketball announced Monday.
It is the first USA head coaching position for Berube, who graduated from UConn in 1997 and was part of the Huskies' first national championship team in 1995. She served as a court coach at the 2016 U-17 trials last May and, as a player, won a bronze medal with the East team at the 1994 United States Olympic Festival.
The Oxford, Massachusetts, native owns a 330-88 record in 15 seasons at Tufts and has led the Jumbos to four straight Division III Final Four bids and back-to-back national championship game appearances. She was the 2015 WBCA NCAA Division III Coach of the Year.
"There is no greater honor as a women's basketball coach than to represent my country as a USA Basketball coach, and I can't wait to get out to Colorado Springs in May for the trials and training camp," Berube said. "I had the tremendous experience of working with our country's most talented girls basketball players as a trials court coach in 2016, and I look forward to building upon that experience later this spring."
The U-16 trials will be held May 25-29 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The top four finishers at the FIBA Americas U-16 Championship receive berths to the 2018 FIBA U-17 world championships.
Berube will be assisted by Steve Gomez, who coached Lubbock Christian University to the 2016 Division II national championship, and former Stanford standout Vanessa Nygaard of Windward School in Los Angeles.