Now that the Confederate battle flag has been gone from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds for nearly two years NCAA tournaments have returned to South Carolina.
The city of Greenville is playing host to six total NCAA tournament basketball games on Friday and Sunday. Meanwhile, the women’s tournament will play three games in Columbia on the same days.Those games come little more than a week after Greenville also hosted the Southeastern Conference’s women’s basketball tournament and Conway hosted its counterpart in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The NCAA had not allowed its various sports to host postseason tournaments in South Carolina, honoring a boycott by the NAACP due to the flag’s presence on the Statehouse grounds.
University of South Carolina sport management professor Tom Regan told South Carolina Radio Network the state will see an economic benefit. “Especially in the hotel, accommodations and hospitality taxes, but also the sales taxes because of the spending that’s going to occur,” Regan said.
He says the state is equipped to hand these tournaments. “South Carolina has the size of venues that are available in Columbia and Greenville in order to accommodate the attendance,” said Regan.
But South Carolina is also benefitting from the NCAA’s current ban on North Carolina for that state’s legislation against transgender use of bathrooms not matching their biological sex. This weekend’s tournament in Greenville was originally scheduled for Greensboro before the NCAA last year relocated in response to its boycott.
“We have all the pieces in place,” Regan said. “The petition came back from Charlotte, Greensboro and the other tournaments that happen in North Carolina,”
In addition to the NCAA men’s basketball first and second rounds in Greenville, the ACC championships in rowing and men’s and women’s golf are scheduled for in April and May.