NCAA Tournament 2012 Schedule: Dates, Locations and More

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 04:  Members of the U.S. Military hold the American Flag as the National Anthem is performed prior to the National Championship Game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Reliant Stadium on April 4, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2012 NCAA Conference Tournaments are kicking off within the next few days, and that means selection Sunday is on the horizon and the Madness of March is set to begin.

With the NCAA setting the locations and dates for the tournament, it’s time to schedule the necessary times off work and get the travel plans in order. We better buckle up, this is going to be a wild ride.

 

Where: Final Four and Championship Game at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA

When: March 13-April 2

Watch: Live Stream at NCAA.com, Nationally Televised Game Times to be Announced

 

NCAA Tournament Schedule:

Selection SundayMarch 11, 2012

 

First RoundMarch 13-14, 2012

UD Arena (Dayton, Ohio)

 

Second-Third Rounds

March 15, 17, 2012

Rose Garden (Portland, Ore.)

The Pit (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, Ky.)

March 16, 18, 2012

Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio)

CenturyLink Center Omaha (Omaha, Neb.)

Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, Tenn.)

Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, N.C.)

 

East Regional—March 22, 24, 2012

TD Garden (Boston)

 

West Regional—March 22, 24, 2012

US Airways Center (Phoenix)

 

Midwest Regional—March 23, 25, 2012

Edward Jones Dome (St. Louis)

 

South Regional—March 23, 25, 2012

Georgia Dome (Atlanta)

 

National Semifinals—March 31, 2012

Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans)

 

Championship Game—April 2, 2012

Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans)

 

MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 03:  Jae Crowder #32 of the Marquette Golden Eagles grabs a loose ball away from Greg Whittington #2 of the Georgetown Hoyas at the Bradley Center on March 3, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Marquette defeated Georgetown 83-69.  (Photo
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Sleeper Team to Watch: Marquette

While many teams are getting credit in the Big East, the Marquette Golden Eagles may be the surprise team that shocks the world. With a great star like Jae Crowder leading the team at both ends of the court, Marquette could be the ultimate sleeper.

 

Final Favorite That Will Lose Early: Missouri

As much as their stellar 27-4 record has the common fans buying into the hype, the Missouri Tigers will be one of the first major names bounced from the 2012 tournament. The first time the Tigers face a stout defense, their shooting will go dry and their run at a championship will end early.

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 11:  (L-R) Kris Joseph #32 and Fab Melo #51 of the Syracuse Orange talk as they walk on the court against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on January 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris Chamb
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Prediction: Syracuse Orange Win it All

Of all the teams in the tournament, the team that doesn’t have just one standout star is the squad that only lost one game. If Syracuse can continue to keep all of their pistons pumping at the same time, the Orange will run through the competition and seal their fate as the 2012 NCAA National Champions.

 

Check back for more on the NCAA Basketball as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s College Basketball Page to get your fill of college basketball.