|The Division III men's basketball title game is headed back to Atlanta in April 2020.
The NCAA announced that it will have combined championship weekends for men's and women's basketball in the next four years.
The 2020 Division III men's basketball championship will be played in Atlanta next April as part of a combined champonship weekend. The Division II and III title games will be played at State Farm Arena on Sunday, April 5. The Division I national semifinals and championship game will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on April 4 and 6 respectively.
Women's basketball will have a similar event in Dallas in 2023. The Division II and III title games will be played on Sunday, April 1 in between the Division I national semifinals and title game. All four games will take place at the American Airlines Arena.
This marks the second time that the NCAA will host combined championship events. Men's basketball had a combined championship weekend in Atlanta in 2013 and women's basketball had one in Indianapolis in 2016.
The format for the men's tournament will be decided at the Division III national tournament committee meeting in June. In 2013 the NCAA Tournament was played over the span of six weekends with first three rounds played as individual games during the first three weekends; then the national quarterfinals and semifinals hosted by Salem, Virgina during one weekend; and then a week off before the national championship game was played.
“Conducting all three basketball championships in one city on the same weekend provides student-athletes from each division a unique experience,” said NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt in the Association's release. “We’re thrilled that our membership approved of doing this again, and we’re confident that this is going to be another huge success, both in Atlanta in 2020 and in Dallas with the three women’s championships in 2023.
“What struck me when we last did this in Atlanta in 2013 were the looks on the faces of the Division II and III student-athletes when they were introduced during the Final Four in front of 70,000 people. You could tell how special it was for them, their families and the fans of those schools to get that type of recognition,” Gavitt said. “Atlanta is an ideal setting for this, with venues that are walkable from each other and from downtown hotels and ancillary events.”
The 2013 Division III men's title game played in Atlanta drew 3,541 attendees, which is the seventh highest total. The 1999 title game between UW-Platteville and Hampden-Sydney had the highest recorded total (4,461). The 2016 Division III women's title game played in Indianapolis set the event record for attendance (6,403).
“This is an amazing opportunity to showcase Division III men’s basketball on a national level alongside our Division I and II counterparts,” said Sam Atkinson, chair of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Committee and associate athletics director for communications at Gallaudet. “The student-athlete experience for the two teams that make it to Atlanta next year is going to be unparalleled. We look forward to being part of the Final Four weekend.”
“An NCAA championship game is the pinnacle of a student-athlete’s career. Crowning three national champions at one site is an exceptional opportunity to celebrate all that is great about women’s basketball and women’s intercollegiate athletics,” said Karin Harvey, head women’s basketball coach at Montclair State and chair of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Committee.