Colleges

Fans, coaches glad to see NCAA championships return to NC

Posted April 18

— The NCAA announced Tuesday that the Division I men's basketball tournament will return to North Carolina beginning in 2020.

The first and second rounds of the 2020 men’s basketball tournament will be contested in Greensboro and be hosted by the ACC March 20-22. The first two rounds of the 2021 men’s basketball tournament will be hosted by NC State at PNC Arena March 19-21.

The announcement for the basketball site hosts came as part of a full rollout by the NCAA with their declarations through the 2021-2022 academic year. In addition to the men’s basketball tournament, the women’s basketball tournament will come to Greensboro in 2019 (March 29-April 1) hosted by the ACC.

In all, North Carolina submitted 133 bids and received 26 across 14 different sports in all three division levels. Raleigh, Cary and Greensboro received 24 of the 26 sites with Winston-Salem being granted the 2019 women's field hockey championships and the 2021 DIII men's/women's indoor track & field championships.

"This is a tremendous day for Raleigh, Cary and the entire region," said Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. "Greater Raleigh has long been recognized as a superb site for NCAA championships across many sports, and today's announcement reinforces that well-deserved reputation."

"Cary's selection is a testament to our dedication to being one of the premier host communities for amateur and collegiate athletics," said Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht in a statement. "We are certain our venues, hailed as some of the finest in the nation, will continue to provide an exceptional experience for NCAA athletes and fans.

Representatives of the athletics departments at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill both also issued statements of support.

"We are happy for our students that they will again be able to compete at the highest level in the postseason here in our home state," UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said he, too, was pleased with the NCAA's return.

"It's great not only to have NCAA Championships back in the state of North Carolina, but to have so many of our institutions and venues within our footprint awarded sites for future years," Swofford said.

NC State will play host to six future NCAA events; UNC-Greensboro, Campbell and Mount Olive will host four each; and the ACC will be the designated host for two events.

"We are pleased to have NC State well represented in the NCAA selection process across a number of our sports and venues," said NC State Director of Athletics Debbie Yow. "We are grateful to host."

"We're pleased the NCAA is bringing championship play back to North Carolina and we eagerly await the return of these games," said UNC President Margaret Spellings. "These events are great opportunities to showcase remarkable student athletes, provide an arena for fans to celebrate our state’s proud tradition of collegiate sports, and spur economic activity across our communities and the state."

Not all parties agreed with the NCAA's decision to bring championship events back to the state citing a half-hearted repeal to House Bill 2 in the form of House Bill 142.

“North Carolina’s new law does nothing to guarantee that LGBT people will be protected from discrimination” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project. “When the NCAA originally withdrew events from North Carolina, they did so because they claimed to care about ‘fairness and inclusion’ for college athletes and fans. It’s a shame to see that those concerns have already fallen by the wayside.”

Last week, the ACLU delivered over 77,000 petition signatures to the NCAA urging the organization to keep events out of North Carolina.

"The NCAA's decision to award contests to states like North Carolina, Texas and Alabama is deeply concerning," said Hudson Taylor, executive director of Athlete Ally. "Until the NCAA clearly publishes what constitutes an inclusive and safe environment for LGBT players, coaches, fans, administrators and officials, they will continue threatening the safety of the LGBT community at their championship events."

All North Carolina NCAA host-site selections through 2022

  • 2018 DI women’s soccer College Cup (Campbelll; WakeMed)
  • 2018 DIII men's/women's soccer championships (UNC-Greensboro; UNCG Soccer Stadium)
  • 2019 DI women’s basketball regional (ACC; Greensboro Coliseum)
  • 2019 DI men’s soccer College Cup (Campbell; WakeMed)
  • 2019 DI women's field hockey championship (Wake Forest; Kentner Stadium)
  • 2019 DII men's baseball championship (Mount Olive; USABaseball National Training Center)
  • 2019 DIII men's/women's soccer championships (UNC-Greensboro; UNCG Soccer Stadium)
  • 2019 DIII men's/women's swimming championships (ODAC; Greensboro Aquatic Center)
  • 2020 DI men’s basketball first/second round (ACC; Greensboro Coliseum)
  • 2020 DI women’s soccer College Cup (Campbell; WakeMed)
  • 2020 DI women’s golf regional (NC State; Lonnie Pool Golf Course)
  • 2020 DI women's gymnastics regionals (NC State; Reynolds Coliseum)
  • 2020 DII men's baseball championship (Mount Olive; USABaseball National Training Center)
  • 2020 DIII men's/women's soccer championships (UNC-Greensboro; UNCG Soccer Stadium)
  • 2020 DIII men's/women's swimming championships (ODAC; Greensboro Aquatic Center)
  • 2021 DI men’s basketball first/second round (NC State; PNC Arena)
  • 2021 DI men’s soccer College Cup (Campbell; WakeMed)
  • 2021 DI women’s swimming and diving championships (NC State; Greensboro Aquatic Center)
  • 2021 DII men's baseball championship (Mount Olive; USABaseball National Training Center)
  • 2021 DIII men's/women's indoor track & field championships (Guilford; JDL Fast Track)
  • 2021 DIII men's/women's soccer championships (UNC-Greensboro; UNCG Soccer Stadium)
  • 2022 DI National Collegiate Rifle Championships (NC State; Reynolds Coliseum)
  • 2022 DI women's gymnastics regionals (NC State; Reynolds Coliseum)
  • 2022 DII men's baseball championship (Mount Olive; USABaseball National Training Center)
  • 2022 DII men's/women's swimming championships (Queens(NC); Greensboro Aquatic Center)
  • 2022 DIII men's/women's indoor track & field championships (North Carolina A&T; Irwin Belk Track)
3 Comments

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  • Dana McCall Apr 19, 9:14 a.m.
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    could...not...care...less given the attitude of the NCAA. They are here to serve US, not the other way around.

  • Andrew Stephenson Apr 18, 5:59 p.m.
    user avatar

    I like how the state put off having to deal with those pesky LGBT rights until after the next governor election as a "compromise" to the HB2 repeal, (and that was apparently OK with the NCAA). Because god forbid we treat LGBT people the same as anyone else. How dare they request equal pay, equal employment, and the same protections against hate crimes?

  • Marvin Sanderford Apr 18, 4:11 p.m.
    user avatar

    So it's official now, the circle is completed. The state that the NCAA built! lol

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