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March Madness Hits San Diego

SDSU Welcomes Eight Teams For 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball First & Second Rounds


Mar 13 2006
For long-suffering San Diego basketball fans, March 2006 has suddenly become rich in hoop-mania here in town. Not only did the San Diego State Aztecs men's basketball team have an excellent year by winning both the Mountain West Conference title and the Mountain West Conference, earning themselves a berth (11th seed) in the NCAA basketball tournament, but San Diego itself is the site of the early rounds of the March Madness hoops fest.

San Diego State University will play host to eight of the top men's collegiate basketball teams at Cox Arena this week for the first and second rounds of the 2006 NCAA championships. Four first-round games will be played on Thursday, March 16, followed by two second-round contests on Saturday, March 18. This year's final four contests will be held in Indianapolis.

The first games Thursday involve four teams in the Oakland regional bracket. Seventh-seeded Marquette (20-10) takes on No. 10 seed Alabama (17-12) at 11:40 a.m. (PST), while the No. 2 seed UCLA Bruins (27-6) face first-time NCAA participant No. 15 Belmont (20-10) in the second contest of the day.

From the Washington D.C. bracket, ninth-ranked and fourth-seeded Illinois will play 13th-seeded Air Force (24-6) at 4:25 p.m. The final game of the day features a second Pac-10 school in No. 5 seed Washington (24-6) against 12th-seeded Utah State (23-8).

Saturday opens at 2:30 p.m. with the second round contest involving two teams from the Washington D.C. region. The final match-up pits the winners of the Oakland region first-round games.

The NCAA men's basketball championship is returning to Cox Arena for the first time since 2001. San Diego is one of eight sites around the country and the only one in the Pacific Time Zone to play host to the first and second rounds in 2006.

2006 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championships
First & Second Rounds (Cox Arena - San Diego, Calif.)
All times PST
Thursday, March 16 - First Round
Oakland Region
Game 1: 11:40 a.m. - No. 7 Marquette vs. No. 10 Alabama
Game 2: *No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 15 Belmont
Washington D.C. Region
Game 3: 4:25 p.m. - No. 4 Illinois vs. No. 13 Air Force
Game 4: ^No. 5 Washington vs. No. 12 Utah State
Saturday, March 18 - Second Round
Game 5: 2:30 p.m. - Winners of Games 3 & 4
Game 6: ~Winners of Games 1 & 2
* 25 minutes after conclusion of Game 1
^ 30 minutes after conclusion of Game 3
~ 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 5

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