2010 NCAA Men's Tournament: Previewing First Round Sites, Local Flavor

Paul SwaneySenior Analyst IMarch 16, 2010

Article originally published on www.stadiumjourney.com

How do you fill out your bracket? There are a lot of ways to do it. Some people choose based on which mascot would win a fight, others go purely by uniform colors.

You can pick by the number of letters in a school’s name, or the most vowels. I’ve seen people choose one stat that they find compelling, like points per shot or assist/turnover ratio.

And there’s always the, who is most likely to win concept. Wow!

One overlooked component can be the arena and location of the games being played. Come back tomorrow for a look at the effects that geographical proximity has on winning percentage.

For today, take some time to get familiar with some of the first-round arenas when they are serving their true purpose.


In Oklahoma City, first and second-round games will be played at the Ford Center .

The main tenant here are the Oklahoma City Thunder. Fans will feel on top of the action at this venue that feels more like it expands up than out.  BYU, Florida, Kansas State, North Texas, Kansas, Lehigh, UNLV, and Northern Iowa will all come to Oklahoma City in hopes of winning two straight.

Try Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse if you want a great piece a meat, or to meet the greats.


Another NBA arena, The Bradley Center , will serve as a host.

Located in downtown Milwaukee, The BC is within walking distance of many great bars and restaurants. We especially like Mader’s where you can get a authentic German meal and fill up on bratwurst, knockwursts, and boots full of beer.

Be sure to take a walk down the Wisconsin Sports Walk of Fame between sessions.

Pittsburgh, Oakland, Xavier, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, and UCSB will begin their road to the Final Four in lovely Milwaukee.


Out west, the HP Pavilion in San Jose will transform from the home of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks into a basketball haven. Butler, UTEP, Vanderbilt, Murray State, New Mexico, Montana, Marquette, and Washington begin play in the Bay Area.

Within walking distance of the arena you can find great Italian food at La Pastaia, or try the Brit for some solid pub food.


Another hockey arena, HSBC Arena in Buffalo will be hosting first and second-round games.

Located in the Canalside neighborhood in downtown Buffalo, fans from Syracuse, Vermont, Gonzaga, Florida State, Clemson, Missouri, West Virginia, and Morgan State will be pleased with the beautiful venue as well as the dining options nearby.

No matter where you are, in the arena or on the couch, have a great time and enjoy the madness.

Paul Swaney is the Co-Founder of Stadium Journey