Welcome Back to NC, NCAA

The NCAA announced last week the locations for the March Madness games for 2019-2022. One state appeared back on the list of locations after a controversy took them out.

HB2, the "bathroom bill," has been disastrous for the state of North Carolina since it was put into motion. Businesses pulled out of the state, costing millions of dollars. One of the major losses came when the NCAA released a statement saying that there will be no NCAA championship games held in NC for that year. The ACC tournament was held in NY this year instead of Greensboro, NC where it's normally held. Also, the round of 64 and round of 32 were held in Greenville, SC this year.

Many know that college sports are a staple for the state of North Carolina. College is basketball is more than a sport. It's a religion. Having some of the biggest college basketball programs in the country, there was outcry when the NCAA pulled NC out of the running for championship events. However, the outcry mostly came due to HB2, not the NCAA's decision.

Coaches Roy Williams from UNC, and Mike Krzyzewski from Duke, both expressed their disgust for the bill. "Look, it's a stupid thing," Coach K said. "That's my political statement. If I was president or governor I'd get rid of it. And I'd back up my promises. As unusual as that might be. Anyway, I don't want to get too political.” 

“It shouldn’t just be about athletic events – that’s the most important thing. It should be about what’s right and wrong,” Williams said. “And what we have now is wrong.”

Both coaches expressed that they had nothing against Greenville, SC, where the events were held. However, considering how dominant these two programs are, both appearing in 3 of the last 5 NCAA Tournament championship games, they had reasons to be upset that the NCAA pulled out of their home state. Coach K really had reason to be displeased since the home team, South Carolina, beat them in round 32 this year.

Earlier this month, the NCAA gave the NC government an ultimatum. Either they repeal HB2, or NCAA events will be pulled from NC until 2022. 

Just before the midnight deadline, NC somewhat repealed HB2. Though there are still issues with the repeal. Gov. Roy Cooper said the new agreement was "not a perfect deal" but a step in a positive direction due to the problems with the bathroom bill.

This past week, NC was included in the list of March Madness locations for 2019-2022. Charlotte will host the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight men's NCAA tournament games in 2018. Greensboro and Raleigh will be the hosts in 2020 and 2021. Sorry Jim Boehiem, the ACC tournament games will also return to the Barclays Center.

Also notable in the list of locations, Columbia, SC is now on the list. They were removed due to another controversy. That being the confederate flags on the State House. The flag's removal has allowed SC to be the host for the 2019 tournament. 

The NCAA did release a statement saying that the decision depends on if NC maintains "a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for all those watching and participating in our events."