The esteemed basketball state of North Carolina, as usual, is about as close to hosting an NCAA Final Four as Nolan Richardson is to again coaching the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The NCAA on Wednesday announced its list of possible Final Four cities for the near future, and North Carolina is no where near the mix.
According to a news release by the NCAA, recent Final Four host cities Atlanta, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, New Orleans, St. Louis and San Antonio are joined by 2009 host Detroit and 2011 host Houston in the bidding for the Final Fours through the 2015-16 academic year. In addition to those cities, Dallas and Phoenix also made bids to host.
After submitting a declaration of intent to bid last November, representatives of each city attended a bid introduction meeting in January, before meeting with the NCAA for individual planning and progress updates at the Men’s Final Four in April and again in June. Over the next several weeks, NCAA staff will compile and analyze information for members of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
“The one-on-one meetings with each city were extremely beneficial, for both the prospective hosts and for the committee,” said O’Connor. “As a committee, and working with the NCAA staff, we were able to check their progress and stay involved with the process. We stay in constant communication with everyone as they all have questions that are unique to their city, and now we feel as though we are in a great position to start analyzing the bids.”
After finalists are determined in August, site visits to each city will be conducted in September and October, prior to the final presentations and announcement of awards scheduled in November.
North Carolina has hosted two Final Fours _ Greensboro in 1974 (N.C. State over Marquette) and Charlotte in 1994 (Arkansas, under Richardson, over Duke).
But by the time some city within the borders builds an arena capable of seating at least 35,000 for a basketball game, North Carolina will be in a state of Final Four neglect.
_ Caulton Tudor