Monday, March 20, 2006
Men’s NCAA basketball wraps up at The Palace
|OU's name was displayed on The Palace floor as the host of first- and second-round games for the 2006 NCAA Division I Tournament.|
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
Oakland University hosted eight of the teams in the first and second rounds of the Men’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament March 17 and 19 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The University of Iowa, Northwestern State University, University of Pittsburgh, Kent State University, University of Kansas, Bradley University, West Virginia University and Southern Illinois University played in front of the more than 19,000 fans at The Palace.
“I can’t tell you how impressed we are with this part of the Detroit area,” said Mel Kochberg, a retired business executive from the Toronto area who travels to NCAA Tournament games every year and decided to take in the first and second rounds at The Palace. “The games themselves also are very exciting. The entire event is well organized.”
Besides the fans inside the arena, a national audience watched the games on CBS and online, while others saw pictures in the newspaper of the tournament floor, which included Oakland University’s name in large print.
“It was awesome to watch the players run back and forth across the Oakland University floor,” said Jackie Wiggins, interim chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, who took in the games at The Palace with her husband, Robert.
OU students, faculty, staff and police officers volunteered their time to help make the event run as smooth as possible.
“I think overall, it went really well,” said Phil Hess, OU’s sports information director and media coordinator for the event. “The experience this event brings us gives OU the ability to host an event like this, or even one on a larger scale, in the future.”