Greenville, S.C. – The NCAA announced Wednesday that Furman and the Southern Conference will co-host NCAA basketball championship preliminary rounds at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, in 2023 and 2026.
“We are ecstatic about being selected for the 2023 NCAA women’s regionals and 2026 men’s first and second rounds,” SoCon Commissioner Jim Schaus said. “Thanks to the city of Greenville, Bon Secours Wellness Arena and Furman University for this great team effort.”
The SoCon and Furman will host NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship regionals at the arena in 2023, followed by first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in 2026. Beginning in 2023, regional play in the women’s tournament will be held at two sites per year, with eight teams competing at each site.
In addition, Bon Secours Wellness Arena will welcome first- and second-round action in the NCAA men’s tournament in 2022. Furman and the SoCon were announced as co-hosts for that event in 2017.
“Furman University is honored to partner with the city of Greenville, the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the Southern Conference for this prestigious opportunity,” Furman Director of Athletics Jason Donnelly said. “We are beyond excited to host NCAA tournament basketball in one of the nation’s best cities and venues in 2022, 2023 and 2026. Thank you to the NCAA selection committee for your consideration.”
The Paladins played three men’s basketball games and one women’s basketball contest at BSWA last season.
This is the third time for this specific NCAA championship bid process, which created the largest host site announcement ever, spanning 86 championships across a four-year cycle. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This process now gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience.
“This marks the fifth time Greenville has been awarded an NCAA event since 2017, and we’re ready to ‘run it back’ and do it again,” said David Montgomery, vice president of sales for VisitGreenvilleSC. “Bigger. Bolder. Together. Not only are these exciting wins, they’re a slam dunk for economic impact. The combined 2023 and 2026 events will bring 16 teams to the Upstate from across the country, with an estimated 26,000 attendees and $11.7M of direct spending to Greenville.”
Bidding for 86 of 90 NCAA championships began in August 2019 and more than 3,000 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in more than 450 total championship event sites being awarded. More than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships each year. The four championships not included in the process due to preexisting site arrangements are: Division I baseball, Division I football, Division I softball and Division III women’s ice hockey.