Michigan v Louisville

Final Four selection process for 2017-2020 has begun, will remain in domes

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On Thursday morning, the NCAA sent out a release formally announcing that the bidding process for the 2017-2020 Final Fours has begun.

Here’s the timeline for the selection process, which takes over a year:

  • October 11th: Cities that want to make a bid on a Final Four must declare their intent to.
  • November 15th: A draft budget, hotel rates and confirmation of adherence to the NCAA’s bid specifications must be submitted.
  • January 2014: After visiting each site, the committee will announce finalists.
  • May 2014: The completed bids by the finalists are due.
  • November 2014: The committee will spend the summer reviewing those bids and visiting the cities before finally coming to a decision.

Perhaps the most interesting note is that the city must have a venue that holds 60,000 people, which essentially guarantees that the Final Four will be played in domed football stadiums through at least 2020. There was talk, at one point, of moving the Final Four into an NBA arena, which hasn’t been done since 1996.

The past three Final Fours have been held in Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta, with Dallas hosting this season and Indianapolis hosting in 2015 before heading back to Houston in 2016.

The best locations for Final Fours are places where both the stadium and more than a few bars and restaurants are located within walking distance of the hotel. Keeping the crowds in one section of the city while having enough places that it’s possible to get something to eat and a beer without waiting for two hours makes for a great experience. Most Final Four vets will tell you that Indianapolis and New Orleans are the best cities to host, with San Antonio coming in third.

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.