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Duquesne University to Host 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
PITTSBURGH - The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee has chosen the city of Pittsburgh as a First and Second Round site for the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship it was announced today. Duquesne University will serve as host, and Pittsburgh’s new Consol Energy Center will be the home for the event scheduled for March 15 & 17.

The selection marks the fourth time the city of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University has been chosen to host an NCAA basketball championship. Duquesne hosted the NCAA Men’s First and Second Round in 1997 & 2002 and the NCAA Women’s East Regional in 2001. All three events were played at the Civic/Mellon Arena.

“Duquesne University is proud to bring one of the premier sporting events in the nation back to Pittsburgh,” said DU Director of Athletics Greg Amodio. “The past success of the event - from administration and planning to great fan support - played a major role in securing the bid. We look forward to working with the city of Pittsburgh and the state-of-the-art Consol Energy Center in putting on a first class event.”

“We are excited that the new Consol Energy Center has been selected as a host site,” said David Morehouse, president of the Pittsburgh Penguins. “The new arena will give us tremendous opportunities to host unique events for the people of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. This is an outstanding start, and we’re looking forward to seeing some of the best teams and players in college basketball in 2012.”

“Pittsburgh developed a great tradition of support for the men’s NCAA Championship with two previous appearances at Mellon Arena, and now we think the level of excitement will be even greater in the new Consol Energy Center,” said Jay Roberts, general manger of SMG. “The new arena will enable us to provide a level of service to fans, players, teams, officials, sponsors and media that will be second to none. We look forward to working with Duquesne University and the NCAA to make the Consol Energy Center a frequent destination for such events.”

The ‘97 First and Second Round games - which marked the first NCAA tournament games played in Pittsburgh - sent Louisville and Texas to the Sweet 16. The six tournament games, including 15th-seeded Coppin State’s 78-65 first round upset of No. 2 South Carolina and two second round games that were decided by one point each, were played before sellout crowds at the then-Civic Arena.

Pittsburgh was the second opening round site to sell out in 2002, the first year of the current NCAA “pod” system. The hometown University of Pittsburgh and UCLA both advanced to the Sweet 16 from the newly renamed Mellon Arena that year. UCLA’s memorable 105-101 double-overtime win over No. 1 seed Cincinnati in the second round was the highest-scoring game of the 2002 Championship.

Other First and Second Round sites and hosts for the 2012 Championship include: Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio (Mar. 13 Opening Round); Mar. 15-17: The Pit, Albuquerque, N.M. (University of New Mexico), Mar. 15-17 Louisville Arena, Louisville, Ky. (University of Louisville), Mar. 15-17 Rose Garden Arena, Portland, Ore. (University of Oregon), Mar. 16-18 Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University), Mar. 16-18 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C. (Atlantic Coast Conference), Mar. 16-18 Sommet Center, Nashville, Tenn. (Ohio Valley Conference) and Mar. 16-18 Qwest Center, Omaha, Neb. (Creighton University).

Regional sites for 2012 are: East Mar. 22-24 TD Garden, Boston, Mass. (Boston College), West Mar. 22-24 US Airways Center, Phoenix, Ariz. (Arizona State University), South Mar. 23-25 Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga. (Georgia Tech) and Midwest Mar. 23-25 Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Mo. (Saint Louis University).

The 2012 Final Four, hosted by Tulane University will be played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans Mar. 31 & Apr. 2.

Ticket information will be released by the Duquesne Athletics Department as it becomes available.
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