Dayton was turned down in its bid to host the NCAA First Four beyond 2015 — for now, at least.
The NCAA lauded the school for what it’s done with the event since its inception in 2011, selling out both doubleheaders last year. UD also hosted the NCAA tournament opening-round game with great success beginning in 2001.
But Ron Wellman, the chairman of the NCAA men’s basketball committee, said the NCAA decided against awarding a long-term contract because of the upheaval in Division I athletics and what that might do to the tournament.
UD still is considered the front-runner to host the First Four from 2016-18 when bids are considered in May 2014.
“I know first-hand what a great basketball town Dayton is, and while we know we can always count on Dayton’s support of the men’s basketball championship, the changing landscape in collegiate athletics makes it difficult to be certain what the future will bring,” Wellman said.
“Because of this, our committee felt that the best course of action would was not to enter into any long-term commitments for any portion of the tournament until the future becomes more defined.”