The declaration was drowned out by the G-20 preparations and the cancelled classes, but last week, Duquesne announced that it will be host the first and second rounds of the 2012 Men’s Basketball NCAA Tournament. As a basketball fan, I think this is awesome! I have spent years watching regular season and March Madness games mostly on TV. In a few years, I may get to see a NCAA Tournament game in person, right across the street from campus.
The games will be played at the Consol Energy Center. The arena is still under construction, but quickly shaping up to look like an awesome sports arena! I drive past it daily on my way to school and it looks like it’s going to be a great place for Pens fans, and now basketball fans, to enjoy their favorite sport!
This isn’t the first time Duquesne has hosted stages of the NCAA Tournament. They also played host to the Men’s first and second round in 1997 and 2002, and East Regional women’s Tournament in 2001. (Arguably) like the G-20, this will be a great event for Pittsburgh and Duquesne to host. It will bring in fans from all over the country to spend time in our city and our new Consol Energy Center, and to get to see our beautiful campus firsthand.
As the host school, Duquesne’s men’s basketball team would not eligible to play at the Consol Energy Center, but other Pittsburgh schools like Pitt and Robert Morris are allowed to play there.
The construction of a new, large arena in Pittsburgh gives the city, and Duquesne, more opportunity to host events that can draw crowds from all over the country. Last week, Penguins president David Morehouse told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “The new arena will give us tremendous opportunities to host unique events for the people of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. This is an outstanding start, and we’re looking forward to seeing some of the best teams and players in college basketball.”
This is a great opportunity for Pittsburgh and Duquesne to showcase the new Consol Energy Center to the world through the most important college basketball tournament of the year. It is also a great way for the public to notice Duquesne: a small university hosting a big time event!