NEW YORK – The last time NCAA tournament games were played in Madison Square Garden was 1961, and the stars of the three winning teams were Tony Jackson of St. John's, Tom Stith of St. Bonaventure and Art Hyland of Princeton.
That list will become outdated in 2014 when the building that proclaims itself "The World's Most Famous Arena" hosts the East Regional.
"We are excited about the tournament returning to the world's most famous arena," NCAA vice president of men's basketball Dan Gavitt said Monday. "Only three arenas have hosted more tournament games than Madison Square Garden, despite it being more than five decades since the last time it hosted. That gives you a great sense of the historical significance of bringing the tournament back there."
Madison Square Garden played host to 71 tournament games between 1943 and 1961, fourth on the all-time list behind the University of Dayton Arena (87), Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. (82), and the Jon M. Hunstman Center in Salt Lake City (81).
But Madison Square Garden's seven national championship games are second only to Kansas City's 10.
The last time the Garden hosted a regional was in 1951, a year after it hosted the regional and Final Four. That year CCNY became the only school to win the NCAA and NIT in the same season, and both titles came at Madison Square Garden.
Madison Square Garden said it is "not commenting at this time."
The other regional sites in 2014 will be Anaheim, Calif., Indianapolis and Memphis, Tenn.
The second- and third-round sites in 2014 will be Buffalo, N.Y.; Milwaukee; Orlando, Fla.; Raleigh, N.C.; San Antonio; San Diego; Spokane, Wash.; and St. Louis. The Final Four will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles and Syracuse, N.Y., will be the regional sites in 2015. The second- and third-round sites in 2015 are Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Fla.; Louisville, Ky.; Omaha, Neb.; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore; and Seattle. The Final Four will be held in Indianapolis.
First-round games will continue to be played in Dayton, Ohio, both years.