St. Louis to host Midwest Regional in 2012 -

St. Louis to host Midwest Regional in 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis will host the NCAA men's basketball Midwest Regional in 2012, and Kansas City will be the site of first- and second-round men's games in 2013, civic leaders and the NCAA said Monday.

The NCAA announced tournament sites for men's games from 2011 through 2013. The Midwest Regional in 2012 will be March 23 and March 25 at the Edward Jones Dome. The 2013 first- and second-round games in Kansas City will be at the Sprint Center March 22 and March 24.

Both Missouri cities have long histories hosting NCAA basketball events. St. Louis has hosted men's tournament events 11 times, while Kansas City has 28 times.

St. Louis was the site of the men's Final Four in 1973, 1978 and 2005, and has hosted the NCAA wrestling championship several times -- and will do so again in 2012. In April, the city hosted the Women's Final Four, with undefeated Connecticut beating Louisville 76-54 in the championship game. St. Louis was also the site of the 2001 Women's Final Four.

The men's regional was here in 2007 and will return in March.

"St. Louis is certainly known as an organization and a community that does first-class events," said Chris May, director of athletics at Saint Louis University, the host organization for the 2012 Midwest Regional.

Kitty Ratcliffe, president of the Convention & Visitors Commission, said the city benefits from the fact that there are 8,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the Edward Jones Dome, plus ample access to the MetroLink light rail system and bus lines.

Kansas City has an even richer history when it comes to men's basketball events. The city has hosted 10 Final Fours and hosted a regional last season.

The NCAA said the 2011 Final Four will be at Reliant Stadium in Houston, the 2012 Final Four at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, and the 2013 Final Four at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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