Thursday, May 10, 2012
Atlanta to host all 3 title games
ATLANTA -- All three divisions of NCAA men's basketball will see their 2013 national champions crowned during Final Four weekend in Atlanta.
The NCAA has announced that for the first time, the Division II and Division III titles will be awarded in the same city and over the same weekend as the culmination to the Division I tournament.
Both the Division II and Division III champions will be crowned on April 7, with the tentative site being Philips Arena. Next season's men's Division I national semifinals are April 6 at the Georgia Dome, as is the national championship game on April 8.
The NCAA says the moves are being made in part to add to the 75th anniversary celebration of college basketball's annual championship tournament.
"We're looking to create a bit of history and really allow more and more people to see all three championships at the same time," NCAA executive vice president for championships Mark Lewis said.
The changes will require some reconfiguring of the Division II and Division III bracket structure and scheduling, including the national semifinals. NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said only the championship games in the lower divisions will be played in Atlanta.
The Division II Elite Eight this year was in Highland Heights, Ky., with quarterfinals on March 21, semifinals on March 22 and title game on March 24. In Division III, Salem, Va., was the host -- as it had been annually since 1996 -- with this past season's semifinals March 16 and the championship game March 17.
It's unknown if the Division II and Division III tournaments will start later than usual next season because of the April championship games. Christianson said the Division II and Division III committees "will meet later this spring and summer to decide how to best accommodate the change in format."