Every year, when March Madness rolls around, Connecticut typically has a lot to be excited about. For one, we can always count on the University of Connecticut women’s team to be among the favorites to win it all. But beyond that, whether it’s Yale or Quinnipiac or the UConn men’s team, it’s never a surprise to see more than one Connecticut team in the running.

Well, in 2019, we’ll have one more thing to get excited about: Connecticut will be home to first- and second-round NCAA Men’s Tournament games.

According to The Hartford Courant, for the first time since 1998, Hartford will host NCAA men’s tournament games. The games will be played at the XL Center on March 21 and 23.

I don’t know about you, but this is maybe the best sports news Connecticut could have, shy of the Whalers coming back. Every year, March Madness is one of the most exciting times of year. Those first two rounds of the tournament are edge-of-your-seat, heart-stopping basketball where one win or one loss can change the course of history. And that history will be made right here in our state.

Now, it’s still two years away, but that’s no reason to start getting pumped for the best possible outcome: NCAA tournament games in Connecticut, and UConn’s men’s team being in it.

The men’s team missed the tournament in 2017 and 2015, won the title in 2014, and lost in the second round in 2016. With a track record like that, your guess is as good as mine as to whether the 2019 squad will be playing in March and April. But with the potential for UConn playing NCAA tournament games essentially at home, Coach Kevin Ollie and his team better get in top form for the 2019 season.

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