Charlotte 49ers: Hosting the First Two Rounds of 2018 Tourney

Mar 31, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward center Frank Kaminsky (44) shoots defended by Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half of the game at the Spectrum Center. Hornets win 122-114. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 31, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward center Frank Kaminsky (44) shoots defended by Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half of the game at the Spectrum Center. Hornets win 122-114. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Charlotte 49ers will be responsible for welcoming the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament back to the Old North State.

That was fast. The state of North Carolina had only just repealed HB2 about a month ago and already the carrots are dropping for the Charlotte 49ers. April 18 was the announcement of site selections for NCAA events and sure enough there was one obvious one right away. The Charlotte 49ers announced that they had received hosting duties for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for this upcoming year.

That would mean that the Spectrum Center would host the first and second round matchups in one or two of the regions next year. Not the Dayton games, but the rounds of sixty-four and thirty-two. Based on the way the Selection Committee operates, it is likely that either Duke or North Carolina or both could find themselves playing in Charlotte if they are both high seeds.

Duke and North Carolina did find themselves in the same location this past year. That location was supposed to be Greensboro, NC but the HB2 backlash moved the games down to Greenville, SC. While that mattered little to the eventual champion Tar Heels, it may have hurt the Blue Devils. HB2 critic Mike Krzyzewski found himself playing South Carolina in South Carolina in the second round. Chances are that the Greensboro crowd would have been slightly more friendly.

A NCAA Tournament site gets a host school. Charlotte has sort of batted the duties around before. The 2008 Tournament games were officially hosted by Davidson, though they were played in the Bobcats Arena. They will be in the same place this time, just that the 49ers will have their logo on the court instead of the Wildcats.

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The other perk from being the host school seems to be the ability to sell tickets to the event, as the bottom part of the 49ers announcement made clear on their website. So 49ers boosters can go ahead an line up some seats.