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Columbia Selected To Host NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament First And Second Rounds In 2019
Men's Basketball  . 

Columbia Selected To Host NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament First And Second Rounds In 2019

April 18, 2017

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The City of Columbia and Colonial Life Arena have been awarded a bid from the NCAA and have been selected as one of eight sites to host NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds in 2019. Games will be played at Colonial Life Arena on March 22 and 24, and the University of South Carolina will serve as the host school for the site. Columbia will be hosting men’s tournament action for the first time since 1970.

Colonial Life Arena opened in 2002 and holds a seating capacity of 18,000 for basketball games. The Arena is home to South Carolina men’s and women’s basketball and is located in the heart of downtown on the University’s campus. The arena is the largest in the state of South Carolina and the 10th-largest on-campus basketball facility in the nation (as of Oct. 2016).

Other First and Second Round sites in 2019 include Hartford, Conn.; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Tulsa, Okla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Salt Lake City, Utah and Seattle, Wash.

Continue to visit for updates on the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds.


“What an exciting day for Columbia, South Carolina. We are indeed the new Southern hot spot, and also the home of college basketball. What a way to cap off the most fantastic year in the basketball history of the state’s flagship university. As you know, we as a city are joined at the hip to the University of South Carolina. Since 1801, this university has served as faithful index to the ambitions and fortunes of this state and served as the heart of the city of Columbia. Everything we do, we do in concert, we do working together, to see the collective efforts of the city, our county, our friends from across the river in Lexington, the University of South Carolina, the most fantastic marketing team that the Convention and Business Bureau could possibly have, the great work here being done at one of the top arenas in the entire country, Colonial Life Arena. To be supported by two fantastic men’s and women’s basketball teams I believe helped push this effort that we’ve all been working on the last several years. They’ve given this city the credibility that we deserve.” – Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin

“The Road to the Final Four passes through Columbia beginning in 2019 and we hope for a long time to come thereafter. Everybody has known we’ve been a great basketball town. We have a great basketball tradition. We stand on the shoulders of people who came before us.” – University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides

“Thank you to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee for choosing the University of South Carolina, the city of Columbia and Colonial Life Arena to host in 2019. We’ve been anticipating this for quite awhile. We’ve all collaborated and worked together, and it is a celebration that we’ll have right here, with the passion we have for our basketball programs.” – University of South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner

“Our community is going to benefit tremendously by having an event like this in town. Here’s the beautiful part, something that I learned five years ago. When you’re not from here, you only know what you hear. When people from around the country actually come in here and see what an unbelievable city this is and what beautiful people we have in this community, and this beautiful campus that we get to show off for everyone to see, it’s a win-win for everybody.” – University of South Carolina Head Men’s Basketball Coach Frank Martin

“I took this job 12-and-a-half years ago knowing that it was not a possibility for us to host NCAA Championships. I didn’t think it was going to take 12 years for it to happen, but I knew at some point that we would be able to, and that Columbia was growing and becoming that sports destination.” – Columbia Regional Sports Council Executive Director Scott Powers