Ford Center will host 2014 DII Elite Eight

Pat Hickey

The Division II Elite Eight will return to Evansville in 2014 after a twelve-year hiatus, with games being played at the Ford Center for the first time in the tournament’s history.

Evansville was the original home of the Division II Elite Eight, when it was played at Roberts Stadium from it’s inception in 1957 until 1976, with the University of Evansville (UE) winning five national championships during that period. After UE announced its intention to move up to Division I, the Division II tournament moved to Springfield, Mass. in 1977 and it has played there for 20 of the last 35 years.

Evansville Sports Corporation placed a bid for the Elite Eight and was notified by the NCAA this month that their bid had been chosen. USI will host the event along with Evansville Sports Corp. at the Ford Center on March 26-27 and 29, 2014.

The 2013 Elite Eight quarterfinals and semifinals will be played nearby in Louisville at Freedom Hall, with the championship game being played in Atlanta at Philips Arena as a part of the NCAA’s celebration of 75 years of March Madness.

The Ford Center will get an early start hosting Division II postseason basketball with the GLVC men’s and women’s tournament this season, March 7-10, 2013.