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St. Louis basketball to return in 2014

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It was a successful March for St. Louisians all around this past spring. Not only did the Billikens reach the third round of the NCAA Tournament, but the city also hosted another successful Midwest Regional, capped by Kansas earning a trip to the Final Four.

St. Louis’ performance as a host impressed fans and NCAA onlookers so much that it earned another chance to host another round of NCAA Tournament games 2014.

This time, though, the games will be second- and third-round tilts played in the Scotttrade Center. last season’s games were hosted at the much larger Edward Jones Dome.

This will mark only the second time St. Louis has hosted games for the tournament’s opening weekend, though they have hosted six men’s regionals and one Final Four, in 2005, when the University of North Carolina disappointed a highly partisan University of Illinois crowd in the championship game.

North Carolina made another appearance in St. Louis last season, losing to Kansas in its bid to earn a trip to New Orleans for the Final Four. Like Illinois seven years before, Kansas enjoyed vast support as many fans made the drive along Interstate 70 to St. Louis.

The Missouri Valley Conference, headquartered in St. Louis, will act as the host for the event.

The MVC also announced that after holding their conference tournament away from St. Louis this season,  in Kansas City, the tournament will return to the Scotttrade Center for at least two more years.

“Arch Madness,” as it is billed by the conference, is a large draw for fans across the region, as some of the perenially mid-major powers are a part of the conference, including Creighton, Bradley, and SLU coach Jim Crews’ former home, the University of Evansville.

While Saint Louis University proudly acted as the host for last year’s regional, the MVC will be taking the mantle of host the next time around, inviting a group of universities into their valley for what promises to be another strong opening weekend for the NCAA Tournament.

The games will take place on March 21 and 23, 2014 to kick off March Madness.

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