March Madness is headed to San Jose.
The South Bay city is primed to host three NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament games this Thursday and Saturday as part of the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds of action.
"We're always excited to host an event of this magnitude," Jim Sparaco, a spokesperson for SAP Center and Sharks Sports and Entertainment, said. "It's important for the city of San Jose to continue to attract these types of events and it's great for the local economy."
While Gonzaga, West Virginia, Arizona and Xavier gear up for the action on the hardwood, hard-working folks on Monday were busy putting the actual basketball court together.
"It comes in little pieces and (the workers') job is to assemble it and make it one basketball floor," Sparaco said. "By the time it's all said and done, it's going to be a floor that's one of the best in world and it's going to be perfect for NCAA basketball."
Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the west region, will host No. 4-seeded West Virginia Thursday afternoon at SAP Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:39 p.m. Immediately following that action, No. 2-seeded Arizona will battle No. 11-seeded Xavier. That matchup is scheduled for 7:09 p.m., but that time could change depending on the timing of the first game.
The two winners from those contests will get a day off before facing off in an Elite 8 matchup Saturday evening with the right to punch a ticket to the Final Four at stake. Tipoff for that game has yet to be determined.
The three games require purchased tickets, but basketball fans on Wednesday can head to SAP Center and catch the teams' practice sessions for free, according to Sparaco. Doors open at 11 a.m. and practice starts at 12 p.m.
"It's going to be a fun event," Sparaco said. It's great for the city of San Jose."