March Madness is associated mainly with one thing: basketball. The name itself just conjures up images of buzzer beaters, cinderellas, and thrilling performances. But there’s a different March Madness and it comes in the form of the NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament which culminates in the Frozen Four. This year the East regional took place at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament returned to Hartford CT this year for the 1st/2nd rounds. This was the first time Hartford hosted the “Big Dance” since 1998. A lot has changed in that time. Hartford has put an emphasis on improving facilities and building new ones. In 2014 the XL Center underwent a $35 million dollar renovation.
Madison Square Garden has played host to the Big East Tournament every year since 1983. In my humble opinion it is the best place to host a basketball tournament.
Although they find themselves behind Providence College and the University of Rhode Island in the Ocean State pecking order, a day at a Bryant University basketball game is a pretty good time. You can take in Division One basketball for a low cost, and after the game you can head over to Providence to dine at a great restaurant or head to Twin River and put down some bets. Bryant delivers Division One basketball at affordable prices and that’s an awesome deal.
The University of Rhode Island may not have the name cache of other big time college programs, but it does have one of the better on-campus arenas. The Ryan Center has affordable prices, great views, and quality basketball. It’s worth a visit if you happen to be in New England during college basketball season.