Rose Garden gets NCAA basketball games

Portland will host first- and second-round play in 2009

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is coming to the Rose Garden for the first time. Portland's arena will play host to first- and second-round games in 2009.

The NCAA Division I men's basketball committee made the announcement Thursday. The committee picked 24 cities to serve as hosts for opening-round and regional games for 2009 and 2010. The committee also picked Detroit to be host of the 2009 Final Four and awarded the 2010 Final Four to Indianapolis.

The 2009 Rose Garden games will be played on Thursday, March 19 and Saturday, March 21.

Other first- and second-round games that week have been set for Philadelphia; Greensboro, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Dayton, Ohio; Miami; Minneapolis, and Spokane, Wash.

A total of 56 cities bid for the 22 available tournament spots.