COLLEGE STATION- For the third consecutive year, Texas A&M University and Reed Arena will host the First and Second Rounds of the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship, the NCAA announced Wednesday afternoon.
The College Station portion of the first- and second-rounds will take place with either March 22 and 24 or March 23 and 25. Specific game dates will be announced at a later date. Four teams will participate in the event.
“Texas A&M is all about hosting championships and competing for championships,” said head coach Gary Blair. “We look forward to hosting the NCAA First and Second Rounds for the third year in a row at Reed Arena.
“The Bryan-College Station community and Texas A&M University have grown to provide outstanding support for women’s basketball, thanks in large part to Coach Gary Blair, who has been such an ambassador for the sport,” said Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman. “We are thrilled that the NCAA has once again selected Texas A&M as a first- and second-round tournament site, and we look forward to welcoming women’s basketball fans to Aggieland."
College Station is one of three sites to host three consecutive years, joining Baton Rouge, La. and College Park, Md. Texas A&M is one of four schools from the SEC to host the first- and second-round games in 2014.
Reed Arena hosted 13,111 fans for the tournament in 2013, which ranked fourth among all first- and second-round hosts, an increase from the 12,592 fans that passed through the gates in 2012, which was the second-most among hosts in 2012.
Over the two year period, Texas A&M led all sites that hosted in both 2012 and 2013 in total attendance with 25,703.
“I think that the NCAA looked at our attendance, our hospitality, and our facility, making the decision to come back a no-brainer,” said Blair. “Our administration has gone above and beyond, particularly Assistant Athletic Director Steve Miller, in getting the tournament back to College Station for the third year in a row.”
As part of the NCAA Championship procedures, if the Aggies qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the ninth consecutive year, they will begin the Road to the Final Four in College Station.
“I’m extremely happy to be hosting again. It is now up to community to support it, buy tickets early, no matter who’s coming to play,” said Blair. “Then the pressure’s on me to get a team good enough to compete in our own first- and second-round games. I think this will excite our fans, and the families of our student-athletes.”
Texas A&M opens its season on Nov. 3 with an exhibition game against Oklahoma City in Reed Arena, then tips off the regular season Nov. 11 at North Texas.