United Center to host NCAA tourney regional semis, final in 2022

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Syracuse players celebrate after an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia in the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament, Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Chicago. Syracuse won 68-62. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The NCAA this week announced future sites for its men’s (2019 through 2022) and women’s (2019 and 2020) postseason basketball tournaments — and Chicago will be in on the March Madness action for both.

In 2022, the four regional sites for the men’s tournament will be Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco and Chicago. Four Midwest Region teams will play at the United Center, with one advancing to the Final Four in New Orleans. Chicago last hosted a men’s regional in 2016, when Syracuse emerged with an upset of top-seeded Virginia to reach the Final Four.

The 2019 women’s Midwest Region semifinals and final will be at Wintrust Arena, the home arena of DePaul’s teams that’s scheduled to open near McCormick Place this fall.

“Less than two weeks after the NCAA Frozen Four hockey championship [at the United Center] set new attendance records, news that Chicago will host the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments is another sign of Chicago’s strength in drawing fans from all over the world,” mayor Rahm Emanuel said in an official statement. “Chicago has always been a world-class sports town, but now we are showcasing the city on the world stage. Thanks to events like the NCAA regional championships we can continue to set tourism records and welcome more travelers than ever to the greatest city in the world.”

Follow me on Twitter @slgreenberg.com.

Email: sgreenberg@suntimes.com

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