Nashville to Host 2018 NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds

November 17, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn.The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) informed representatives from the Ohio Valley Conference and Nashville Sports Council on Monday that the City of Nashville has been awarded the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds.

The event will take place on March 16 and 18 and will be held at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville with the Ohio Valley Conference serving as the host in partnership with the Nashville Sports Council.

Beginning in 2011 (with the addition of the First Four) the opening weekend games were branded the Second and Third Rounds but that will revert back to its original name of First and Second Rounds beginning with the 2016 championship.

This marks the fifth time since 2000 that the event will be held in the City of Nashville and at Bridgestone Arena (2000, 2003, 2005 and 2012).

Overall it is the ninth time the tournament has been in Nashville as the First and Second rounds have also been held in the city in 1982, 1989 and 1993 as were the 1973 Regional Semifinals/Finals.

“We are delighted to be given the opportunity to provide a memorable experience for student-athletes and visiting fans and also bring a world class sporting event to a world class city,” said Beth DeBauche, Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner. “We have a proven track record of hosting marquee events that show off the best of intercollegiate athletics and we look forward to showcasing not only the OVC, but the Nashville Sports Council, Bridgestone Arena and the City of Nashville.”

“We are excited to have March Madness back in Music City for the fifth time since 2000,” said Scott Ramsey, Nashville Sports Council President & CEO. “This is a tremendous event from both an economical and media exposure standpoint for our community. Between the OVC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, and the NCAA Men’s 1st and 2nd Rounds, March 2018 will be an outstanding month of postseason collegiate basketball in Nashville.”

“This is a national tournament and the sites selected by the committee being spread out geographically reflect that fact,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president for men’s basketball. “It’s also worth noting that the dozen regional sites chosen for this bid cycle do not include any domed venues, which emphasizes our commitment to not necessarily using future Final Four venues as regional sites.”

Other cities selected for First/Second rounds games in 2018 include Boise, Idaho, Charlotte, N.C., Detroit, Michigan, Dallas, Texas, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, San Diego, California and Wichita, Kansas. The regional sites for 2018 are Atlanta, Georgia, Boston, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, California and Omaha, Nebraska. The 2018 Men’s Final Four will be played at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Media Contacts:

Kyle Schwartz (OVC) 

Brandon Cox (NSC) 



The Ohio Valley Conference, which is the nation's eighth oldest Division I athletic conference, is in its 67th year of competition in 2014-15. The OVC is comprised of 12 schools that represent five states. Member institutions include Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, Eastern Illinois University, Eastern Kentucky University, Jacksonville State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Southeast Missouri State University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee at Martin. For more information visit


The Nashville Sports Council is a private, non-profit, membership-based organization of area corporations and individual sports enthusiasts.  Created in 1992, the Nashville Sports Council’s mission is to positively impact the economy and quality of life of the Greater Nashville Area by attracting and promoting professional and amateur sporting events.  The Nashville Sports Council has hosted hundreds of major sporting events that have produced more than half a billion dollars in direct economic impact for the region.  For more information call 615.743.3120 or visit  Follow the Nashville Sports Council on Facebook and Twitter.