TAMPA, FL – On Tuesday, April 18, the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced that Tampa Bay and Amalie Arena have been awarded the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds. It marks the fourth time that Amalie Arena has hosted championship rounds (2011, 2008 and 2003). The University of South Florida (USF), in partnership with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, will serve as the host institution. Games are scheduled to be played on March 19 and 21, 2020.
“We’re thrilled with today’s announcement that March Madness will be returning to Tampa Bay in 2020 and we could not be more grateful to the NCAA for entrusting us with this amazing opportunity,” said Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. “A special thanks goes out to Amalie Arena, USF and all of our community partners who helped land this incredible event. We’re focused on working together to deliver an unforgettable experience for all of the student-athletes and fans.”
Amalie Arena is no stranger to premier NCAA Basketball events. The arena has previously hosted two Women’s Final Fours (2008 and 2015) and is scheduled to host again in 2019. The 2003 and 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds, along with the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Second and Third Rounds, produced a series of incredible tournament moments. The 2008 First and Second Rounds became one of the most memorable rounds in recent history, earning Tampa the moniker of “Upset City”. That year, two 13-seeds and two 12-seeds upset a pair of four and five seeds. 2011 featured a handful of storied college basketball programs, including Florida, UCLA, Michigan State and Princeton, as well as Kentucky, who eventually went on to reach the Final Four.
In addition to the NCAA Men’s Basketball selection, the Tampa Bay area will also host 11 Division II championship events, including seven National Championships. Saint Leo University and the University of Tampa will serve as host institutions, as they are recently coming off several successfully produced Division II championship events.
The University of Tampa, which is set to host the Division II Women’s Lacrosse National Championship in 2018, will also host back-to-back Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships at Pepin Stadium in 2020 and 2021, as well as the 2021 Division II Women’s Volleyball National Championship at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center (previously hosted in 2015). Meanwhile, Saint Leo, who is fresh off of their 2016 Division II Cross Country Men’s and Women’s Regional and National Championship hosting efforts, will showcase its Abbey Course once again in 2021. Saint Leo will also host a pair of regionals in 2020 and 2021.
In total, Tampa Bay was selected to host seven national championships, all of which are listed below.
2020 Division I Men’s Basketball First & Second Rounds (University of South Florida)
2020 Division II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Regional (Saint Leo University)
2020 Division II Men’s and Women’s Soccer National Championships (University of Tampa)
2021 Division II Men’s and Women’s Soccer National Championships (University of Tampa)
2021 Division II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country National Championships (Saint Leo University)
2021 Division II Women’s Volleyball National Championship (University of Tampa)
2021 Division II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Regional (Saint Leo University)