The theme of Cinderella, as it relates to the NCAA Tournament, will be in full force this weekend at the St. Louis regional as ninth seeded UAB and tenth-seeded Nevada try to earn trips to the Final Four. The Blazers will face fourth-seeded Kansas in tonight’s early game at 6:10 and the Wolf Pack takes on third-seeded Georgia Tech will play 30 minutes after that contest. This is the first NCAA Regional to be held in St. Louis since 1999, when Michigan State emerged from the Dome and went on to win the National Championship. This weekend will also serve as a test run for next year’s Final Four in St. Louis. The Missouri Valley Conference, which is based in St. Louis, is hosting both events. Conference commissioner Doug Elgin said, “All the staff from the NCAA men’s championship department are going to be in town week. We’re under a microscope in terms of this is our final run-through before we host the Final Four in this facility.” While the task is large, Elgin added, “Our Staff at the Missouri Valley looks at this as probably one of the premier opportunities that they have in their lives as sports administrators and certainly we’re looking forward not only this event but setting the table so that this event will bring other events to town down the road.” The Dome will accommodate 45,000 spectators per game in its basketball configuration and will expand to 49,000 for the Final Four next year.
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