Selection Monday is finally here, and I couldn’t be more excited to find out what teams will be placed in the Des Moines Regional for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships! In case you hadn’t heard, Wells Fargo Arena is a site for a Regional Final of this year’s women’s tournament. For those not familiar with the Big Dance, it means that one of the four teams that play here on March 24 and 26 will be headed to the Final Four in Denver, CO. It means that some of the best women’s basketball teams will be in our fine city and the national spotlight will be on Des Moines!
From a basketball perspective, this is exciting as there are a ton of storylines in women’s college basketball this year. Could the #1 ranked Baylor Bears, and soon to be named Player of the Year Britney Griner punch their ticket to the final four after playing in Des Moines? Could Tennessee head coach Pat Summit, who owns the most ever wins in college basketball, bring her Lady Volunteers for a nice weekend stay? Could Iowa State or Iowa make it through the first and second rounds and be in a region where they stay home and play in Wells Fargo Arena?
From a community perspective, it means that fans from across the country will be spending their weekend in Des Moines, staying in our hotels, eating in our vibrant restaurants, shopping at our shopping centers, and it means that the local community has a chance to support another NCAA event in their backyard. While hosting a Regional Final is new, NCAA events are not a new thing around here. In 2008, Des Moines had the highest attended first and second round site for the Women’s Basketball Tournament. The NCAA track and field championships have been at Drake previously, and will be again this summer. The 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will be held in Des Moines, and go on sale this Thursday at 10am (shameless plug).
March Madness is here, and Des Moines is once again a part of it all. Let’s fill Wells Fargo Arena and provide a tremendous atmosphere for those student-athletes that will live out their dreams in our great city.
Also at Wells Fargo Arena-
Don’t forget this weekend is full of sports at Wells Fargo Arena! It’s a double-dip this weekend, as Friday night the Iowa Energy host Go Green Night featuring the Russian Bar Trio, presented by MidAmerican Energy. And Saturday night, the Iowa Barnstormers host their first home game of the season. Support the Barnstormers and new coach Mike Hohensee as they take on the Utah Blaze at 7:05pm.