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Basketball - Men's College

After 34 years, tourney returns

    After a 34-year absence, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is coming to Portland for first- and second-round games March 19 through 21. And organizers are already thinking about future March Madness.

    Drew Mahalic, Oregon Sports Authority chief executive officer, says the organization plans to bid in the fall for an NCAA Tournament regional – later rounds of the highly popular tournament – in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Portland officials hope to land at least one of the years and host the big event at the Rose Garden.

    “The idea is to do a marvelous job on this event and impress the NCAA,” Mahalic says.

    Eight teams and all their fans converge on Portland for games March 19 and 21, with the teams to be determined on “Selection Sunday” March 15. Portland is one of eight sites hosting first- and second-round games. Each site has eight teams.

    The Portland games sold out quickly, meaning many sports fans gobbled up the tickets, not knowing what teams would play in the Rose Garden. It also surely sets up quite a secondary market for tickets – through scalping, selling on the Internet and the like – as out-of-town fans scramble to get into the Rose Garden to cheer on their teams.

    — Excerpt from The Portland Tribune, March 12, 2009


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