NCAA Men's March Madness is back in Columbus March 17 & 19. Eight teams will come to Nationwide Arena but only two will book their tickets to the Sweet 16. Here are the matchups for the First Round at Nationwide Arena on Friday, March 17:
Session 1 - Friday, March 17
Session 2 - Friday, March 17
Session 3 - Sunday, March 19
- No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 7 Michigan State, 5:15 p.m. | Watch Live
- No. 9 Florida Atlantic vs No. 16 FDU, 7:45 p.m. | Watch Live
Official Team Bars and Other Pre- or Post-Game Hangouts
If you're looking for a good time in the Arena District before or after the games, we've got you covered. Check out our Gameday Guide to get our picks for the best snacks, sips and sitdowns near the action. Official Team bars are listed below:
- Purdue - Boston's (191 W. Nationwide Blvd.)
- Michigan State - Moran's (415 N. Front St.)
- Marquette - RBar (413 N. Front St.)
- Florida Atlantic - RBar (413 N. Front St.)
- Memphis - Goodwood Brewing (401. N. Front St.)
- USC - Goodwood Brewing (401 N. Front St.)
- Vermont - Whistle & Keg (343 N. Front St.)
- Texas Southern/FDU - Whistle & Keg (343 N. Front St.)
Fun Facts and More Info
- Stats, scores and watch live games at ncaa.com/marchmadness.
- Learn about local talent competing in the Big Dance with the Columbus Dispatch here.
- Get to know each team on our blog, filled with fun facts and players to watch.
- This will be the sixth time Nationwide Arena hosts March Madness (2004, 2007, 2012, 2015 and 2019)
Columbus March Madness History
2004 - In the First Round, No. 9 UAB beat No. 8 Washington 102-100 in front of a packed house. The 202 combined points was the highest-scoring matchup in the tournament that year. UAB wasn't done either, they went on to beat No. 1 Kentucky in the Second Round to earn a spot in the Sweet 16.
2007 - There must be something about scoring in Columbus. No. 5 Tennessee dropped 121 on Long Beach State in the First Round, again the Big Dance's highest-scoring game. The Volunteers eked by No. 4 Virginia 77-74 to set up a date vs. No. 1 Ohio State in the Sweet 16 in San Antonio the following weekend.
2012 - No. 1 Michigan State handled No. 16 Long Island easily in the First Round before getting tested by No. 9 St. Louis in the West Region's Second Round. The Spartans snuck past the Billikens to earn a spot in the Sweet 16. The Midwest Region wasn't as chalky, as No. 11 North Carolina State creating a little Madness. The Wolfpack beat No. 6 San Diego State on Friday before taking down the No. 3 Georgetown Hoyas on Sunday.
2015 - It was Almost Heaven for No. 5 West Virginia as the Mountaineers beat No. 12 Buffalo and No. 4 Maryland to make a Sweet 16 berth. Ohio neighbors No. 11 Dayton upset No. 6 Providence in the First Round. The Flyers would soon be grounded in a close one vs. No. 3 Oklahoma in the Second Round.
2019 - No. 2 Tennessee played in two close games on their way to the Sweet 16. They beat No. 15 Colgate 77-70 in the First Round before needing OT to get past No. 10 Iowa. The Hawkeyes sent Bearcat fans on a sad trip down 71-South after beating No. 7 Cincinnati in the First Round. In the other games, no. 1 North Carolina handled business vs. No. 16 Iona and No. 9 Washington.