Viejas Arena SDSU
Viejas Arena. Photo credit:

Viejas Arena plays host to eight of the top men’s college basketball programs this weekend for the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Four first-round games will be played Friday – one features the South region No. 1 seed Arizona – followed by two second-round contests Sunday.

The arena, at San Diego State, is one of eight hosts for regional action in the tournament. The Aztecs meanwhile, a No. 8 seed in the Midwest region, are playing in Fort Worth, Tex. Thursday.

Friday’s matchups at Viejas include (with region and TV network airing game):

  • (West region, 10:45 a.m., TNT) No. 3 seed Texas Tech (25-9) and No. 14 Montana State (27-7) clash. The Red Raiders, 12-6 in the Big 12, fell to Midwest region top-seed Kansas in the conference championship. The Bobcats, the Big Sky regular season and tournament champs, make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996.  
  • (West region, 1:15 p.m., TNT) No. 6 Alabama (19-13) takes on No. 11 Notre Dame (22-10), which beat No. 11 Rutgers in a double-overtime thriller in the First Four Wednesday in Dayton. The Crimson Tide finished tied for fifth in the talented SEC.
  • (South region, 4:30 p.m., TruTV) No. 1 Arizona (31-3) faces No. 16 Wright State (22-13), a winner over Bryant in a Wednesday First Four game. The Wildcats were the Pac-12 regular season and tournament champs. Wright State won the Horizon League championship, while Bryant won the Northeast Conference championship.
  • (South region, 7 p.m., TruTV) No. 8 Seton Hall (21-10) plays No. 9 TCU (20-12). The Pirates won their final five regular season games while the Horned Frogs’ eight Big 12 wins were the most in program history.

Sunday features second-round action as the two winners from the South and West Regions match up, with game times TBA.

Tickets for Friday’s two sessions and Sunday’s single session are sold out, but still may be purchased through the NCAA Fan Experience and NCAA Ticket Exchange.

Each team will hold a 40-minute practice Thursday, with the arena open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and better yet – those who attend the late afternoon practices may watch San Diego State’s first-round game in Fort Worth on the Viejas Jumbotron.

Updated 6:35 p.m. and 11:55 p.m. March 16, 2022