The NCAA Tournament in coming back to Albany.
The NCAA announced Thursday that the Times Union Center in Albany will be the host of first and second round games in the 2020 NCAA tournament on March 19 and 21 of that year.
Once 2020 comes, it will mark the third time that the Times Union Center has hosted the NCAA tournament and will end a 17-year hiatus, as the last time Albany hosted was in 2003 when the city hosted the East Regionals, which was won by eventual-champion, Carmelo Anthony-led Syracuse. Additionally, Albany hosted first and second round games in 1995.
“This is very exciting for both the college as well as the community, and Siena looks forward to continuing to work diligently with both the MAAC and the Times Union Center on these events to showcase the Capital Region when the games are played,” Siena vice president and athletic director John D’Argenio said in an official statement.
This is a huge milestone for Albany, as they have been trying for years for the opportunity to host, and the 17,500-seat arena has been undergoing renovations to modernize the arena which opened in 1990. Part of the renovations include a new atrium at the front of the arena and a new convention center, which opened earlier this spring.
“It’s great to see Albany awarded the 2019 Women’s Basketball Regional and the 2020 Men’s basketball first and second rounds, reflecting the city’s commitment to hosting tremendous events at the Times Union Center,” MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor said in his official statement.
The arena will also be the host two East Regionals for the Women’s basketball tournament; 2018 as previously announced, as well in 2019 which was also announced today. The Times Union Center hosted the Women’s East Regionals in 2015, which included UConn as one of the teams playing.