By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist

The first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (March Madness) returned to Sacramento March 16 and 18 after it was previously canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

By all accounts, the event was a tremendous success for Sacramento. The Golden 1 Center enjoyed almost sold-out crowds for games that started last week where the 15th-seeded Princeton Tigers thrilled the crowd by pulling off a stunning first-round upset over the second-seeded Arizona Wildcats. 

Sacramento was also blessed by excellent weather during March Madness where hoop fans from all over the country enjoyed the sights, food and scenery of Sacramento and Northern California. When the teams returned to action on Saturday, the Princeton Tigers continued their streak of knocking off giants by defeating the favored Missouri Tigers. Thousands also watched the UCLA Bruins advance to the “Sweet Sixteen” after dominating UNC Asheville and defeating Northwestern. 

Sacramento has now hosted three successful first- and second-round NCAA tournament events. I am sure that Visit Sacramento is hoping to host a NCAA March Madness regional final in the near future.