Nashville will host first- and second-round games of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship downtown in 2012, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) told the Nashville Sports Council Monday.
The event will take place March 16-18 at the Sommet Center with the Ohio Valley Conference (Tennessee State and Austin Peay are area members) serving as the league host.
It marks the fourth time since 2000 that the event will be held in Nashville and at the Sommet Center (2000, 2003 and 2005). Each of the three previous events were sellouts.
Overall, it is the eighth time the tournament has been in Nashville as the first and second rounds have also been held in the city in 1982, 1989 and 1993 as were the 1973 Regional Semifinals/Finals.
“We are excited to have March Madness back in Music City for the fourth time since 2000. This is a great event from both an economical and media exposure standpoint for our community,” said Scott Ramsey, president and CEO of the Nashville Sports Council.
The partnership between the OVC, Nashville Sports Council and the Sommet Center will bring the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Final Four to Nashville as well.
Other cities selected for first/second rounds games in 2012 include Albuquerque, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Portland, Ore., Columbus, Ohio, Greensboro, N.C. and Omaha. The regional sites for 2012 are Boston, Phoenix, Atlanta and St. Louis, with the Final Four set for the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.