Today, the NCAA released the locations for the preliminary round sites for the 2013-14 NCAA season's tournament- and Madison Square Garden is back in the rotation for the regional semi-finals and finals - the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.
The games will be hosted by the Big East Conference and St. John's, a great honor.
"The bid process was as competitive as ever, with 53 cities expressing the desire to be a part of one of the world’s premier sporting events," NCAA vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt said. "We are thrilled for our hosts for the ’14 and ’15 tournaments, as they include a mix of cities that have proven over the course of several decades how to stage this great event, as well as cities that have come on to the scene in recent years and have embraced the tournament.
"And we are excited about the tournament returning to the world’s most famous arena. Only three arenas have hosted more tournament games than Madison Square Garden, despite it being more than five decades since the last time it hosted. That gives you a great sense of the historical significance of bringing the tournament back there."
But that cause for elation likely means that St. John's won't be able to play in Madison Square Garden in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Madison Square Garden should be considered a home court for St. John's, and no team can play on its actual home court in the men's tournament. A team can play nearby (such as Duke/ Carolina playing Greensboro, or Kansas playing in Kansas City), but the home court is verboten. (If that is in any way incorrect, we will update this post.)
Under current NCAA rules, any court on which a team hosts more than three regular-season games is considered a "home court" (conference tournament games are not counted for this purpose).
The closest regional locations would be the Midwest regional (in Indianapolis) and the South regional (Memphis). Seeding may make this a moot point; tournament teams are no lock to be placed in its closest regional.
For first/ second round games, the closest locations are Buffalo and Raleigh, North Carolina.
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