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McKale Sold Out for NCAA Tourney
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 20, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON, Ariz.--The University of Arizona has sold out tickets for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championships preliminary rounds set for McKale Center on March 17 and 19, excluding the ticket allotments reserved for the eight competing teams.


            "It's indicative of the outstanding basketball support we have in the Tucson community," senior associate athletics director Kathleen "Rocky" LaRose said. "We enjoyed good attendance the other times we've been host for the basketball championships in McKale Center, but a pre-tournament sellout is great and shows the anticipation that's building."


            Should any of the competing teams in the Tucson field return a portion of their allotment, a small number of tickets could be put on sale at the McKale Center Ticket Office the week of the tournament, tournament manager Suzy Mason said.


McKale Center will hold about 13,750 for the NCAA Championships after seating reconfiguration required to accommodate the sizeable media contingent at the event. Capacity for the regular season is 14,545


For the public, the event starts with doors opening at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 16, for each of the eight teams'  50-minute practices beginning at noon. Four teams will practice in succession until 4 p.m., then the other four teams will practice from 5 to 9 p.m.  Those are free and open to the public and make for one of the most exciting days of the tournament, LaRose said. "All 64 teams are still alive," she said.


            McKale Center will host six games in the Championships, with four first-round games to be scheduled for Thursday, March 17, and two second-round games slated for Saturday, March 19. The field and seedings for the tournament will be announced by the NCAA on CBS-TV Sunday, March 13. Game times likely will be announced Monday, March 14.


McKale is a Thursday-Saturday venue along with three other sites, while four sites will hold games on Friday and Sunday.


            The Tucson sellout is the fifth for preliminary round sites, joining sold out venues in Boise Idaho; Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Worcester, Mass. Other first/second round sites include Indianapolis, Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C.


            Arizona played host in 1973, 1977, 1979, 1987, 1991, 1997 and 2000 for early round NCAA Men's Championships games, and in 1974 and 1980 for the NCAA West Regionals prior to the expansion of the field to 64 teams.


            UA's men's and women's teams, if selected for the NCAA Championships, will be sent to other venues. Women's preliminary sites are Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle, Fresno, Calif.; College Park, Md.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Storrs, Conn.


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