N.C. gets NCAA tourney sites after HB2 repeal

North Carolina’s decision to repeal its controversial House Bill 2 has officially brought the NCAA tournament back to the state.

On Tuesday, the NCAA released its future tournament sites and, in addition to the previously announced first- and second-round games in Charlotte in 2018, Greensboro (2020) and Raleigh (2021) are scheduled to host opening weekend games.

After the state passed the “bathroom bill,” the collegiate governing body announced it would boycott North Carolina, arguing the bill did not promote a safe, healthy and discrimination-free environment for athletes and fans.

In the last year, the NCAA moved seven championship events out of North Carolina, including the opening weekend of the 2017 NCAA tournament. Originally scheduled to be played in Greensboro, the games were contested in Greenville, South Carolina.

Earlier this month, the North Carolina House voted to repeal the law, and Gov. Roy Cooper later signed it. The NCAA board of governors announced that, though it remained concerned about the reworked bill, a majority of its members had “reluctantly voted to allow consideration of championship bids in North Carolina by our committees that are presently meeting.”

Several other sports, including the 2019 women’s basketball regional and the 2019 and 2021 men’s soccer college cup, will also contest their championships in North Carolina in the future.

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