Madison Square Garden will host the East Regional of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championships for the first time in 53 years as the sites for the 2014 and '15 tournaments were announced Monday.
Twenty-five preliminary round sites for the 2014 and '15 tournaments were selected. Those 25 cities have combined to host nearly 1,000 games in the tournament's history, which will reach 77 years by 2015.
Madison Square Garden hosted 71 tournament games between 1943 and 1961, but has not hosted an East Regional since then.
"The bid process was as competitive as ever, with 53 cities expressing the desire to be a part of one of the world's premier sporting events," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of men's basketball, in a release. "We are thrilled for our hosts for the '14 and '15 tournaments, as they include a mix of cities that have proven over the course of several decades how to stage this great event, as well as cities that have come on to the scene in recent years and have embraced the tournament.
"And we are excited about the tournament returning to the world's most famous arena. Only three arenas have hosted more tournament games than Madison Square Garden, despite it being more than five decades since the last time it hosted. That gives you a great sense of the historical significance of bringing the tournament back there."
California, New York and Ohio each have three cities hosting first- through third-round games and regional championships.
Dayton, Ohio, will continue serving as the opening site of the tournament, which has been a tradition since 2001. Dayton hosts its 100th tournament game in March 2013.
Columbus hosts second- and third-round games in 2015 and Cleveland hosts the Midwest Regional that year.
In California, San Diego hosts second- and third-round games and Anaheim the West Regional in 2014. Los Angeles hosts the West Regional in 2015.
In New York, Buffalo hosts second- and third-round games in 2014 and Syracuse is the site for the 2015 East Regional.
Florida, North Carolina and Texas each have two cities serving as cites for the 2014 and '15 tournaments.
Next year's Final Four is at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The 2014 Final Four will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the 2015 Final Four is scheduled for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.