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NCAA Tournament: Previewing Friday's Regional Final Sites

JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 21:  Mike Krzyzewski head coach of the Duke Blue Devils watches his team take on the California Golden Bears during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Jacksonville Veteran's Memorial Arena on March 21, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Paul SwaneySenior Analyst IMarch 26, 2010

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The Madness of March continues for one last weekend in this magnificent month. While games will be played in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, and EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, two traditional homes for basketball, there are also games being played in massive football stadiums. St. Louis will host the Midwest regional and Northern Iowa, Michigan State, Tennessee, and Ohio State. In the South Regional, Houston’s Reliant Stadium will practice for their 2011 Final Four date by hosting Duke, Purdue, Baylor, and St. Mary’s.

The Edward Jones Dome was rated by Stadium Journey as the worst NFL experience in 2009, so it will be interesting to see how the basketball experience works out. The good news is that the neighborhood surrounding the Edward Jones Dome is chocked full of interesting bars, especially along the streets of Laclede’s Landing. City Garden and The Arch are within walking distance from the Dome.

Houston received the fifth-best ranking on the Stadium Journey’s best of the NFL in 2009. What St. Louis lacks in interior charm that the Reliant Stadium has in spades. This includes great concession stands, and a Texas-sized JumboTron. That’s not to stay that there isn’t also a great neighborhood nearby. There is. Take the train line along Main St. and stop off at one of the recommended bars like the Flying Saucer or Cabo Mix-Mex Grill.

If you are fortunate enough to attend the action this weekend, let us know what your experience is like. We’d love to hear how it compares to each stadium’s NFL experience.

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