For the first time since 2006, Philadelphia will be at the center of March Madness.
Saint Joseph’s is the host for this year’s first- and second-round games at the Wachovia Center, with play beginning on Thursday and continuing Saturday.
Villanova, as a No. 3 seed in the East, will be the main attraction. The Wildcats will face the Patriot League’s American University – the 14th seed. Villanova is allowed to play at the Center because they did not play more than three games there this season.
In the other game in that session, UCLA will make the nearly 3,000-mile journey from Los Angeles to tip-off against Virginia Commonwealth. UCLA, the sixth seed, has won 11 national championships. Virginia Commonwealth is no stranger to Philadelphia, having been in town to face Drexel during the Colonial Athletic Association regular season.
Connecticut grabbed the No. 1 seed in the West region, and earned a trip down I-95 from Storrs to face serious underdog Chattanooga, which won the Southern Conference championship. UConn was one of three Big East teams to grab No. 1 seeds, joining Louisville and Pittsburgh.
In the 8-9 game, the BYU Cougars will fly in from Provo to battle Texas A&M, from the Big 12.