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NCAA Men's Basketball Championships Round 2 & 3

Salt Lake City has earned its place in March Madness history over the years. In 1979, the Huntsman Center hosted the first-ever Magic vs. Bird matchup, in a championship game no less, before the two went on to transform the NBA. In 1993, again at the Huntsman Center, the nation got its first look at a Canadian kid named Steve Nash as No. 15 Santa Clara knocked off No. 2 Arizona—only the second time such an upset had occurred at that point. In spring 2010, Utah got to see Gordon Hayward play live in EnergySolutions Arena on the way to Butler’s surprise run to within one missed shot of winning the title. That summer, the Jazz made Hayward their pick in the first round of the NBA draft.

Salt Lake City got a good draw for the 2013 West second and third rounds, featuring Gonzaga, the top-ranked team in the nation, Utah’s Pac-12 foe Arizona and former Mountain West Conference rival New Mexico. Thursday’s games are the No. 1-seeded Gonzaga vs. the No. 16-seeded Southern; No. 8 Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Wichita State; No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 14 Harvard; and No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 11 Belmont. Winners play in two games on Saturday, with the winners of those games advancing on to the regional finals in Los Angeles.

Who knows if Salt Lake City will be the place where the Zags begin their march to a title, the next Jeremy Lin will show up for the Crimson, Belmont pulls off some Cinderella upsets or a future Jazz-man suits up for the first time in the ESA? (Geoff Griffin)

See website for times, $50-$240.

Date: Mar 21, 2013
Phone: 801-325-7328
Address: 301 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: EnergySolutions Arena