March Madness comes to the tri-state area this Friday and Sunday as Newark’s Prudential Center plays host to the East Regional of the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Tournament. This is a great opportunity for New York and New Jersey college basketball fans to see games in person without having to travel far.
Game one at 7:15 p.m. will feature 11th seeded Marquette versus the number two seed North Carolina. At 9:45 p.m., or upon conclusion of the first match, heavy hitters and number four seed Kentucky will tip off against number one seed Ohio State.
The winners of both contests will then meet on Sunday with the chance to head to Houston and the Final Four on the line. Game time is still pending.
While all games are sold out, those that want to find tickets can. StubHub and Craigslist in New York and Northern New Jersey all have tickets for sale. .
The Prudential Center is offering free admission to fans for an open practice on Thursday between noon and 4 p.m. The arena will open its doors at 11 a.m. and fans will be admitted on a first come first serve basis.
Just 14 miles from midtown Manhattan, the Prudential Center can be reached by public transportation but also offers plenty of affordable parking.
While historically the perception of Newark has been less than favorable, Mayor Cory Booker and the city are working hard to revitalize its image. In addition to the Prudential Center, Newark is now home to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Newark Museum and the thriving Iron Bound District known for dining, shopping and entertainment.
Booker, a rising star in the political world, is very active in the community. He has over one million followers on Twitter and began today by posting the following inspirational tweet, “when someone tells me “no,” it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.” Karen E. Quinones Miller.
Featured this week on Today, Booker is committed to fixing Newark and the reputation of New Jersey. “We are one of the top 10 most populous states in the nation”, he stated. “We have a transportation super-structure and an arts, cultural, sports and entertainment hub that would make most states envious, frankly. But the reality is we are a state that should be a lot prouder.” Regarding the NCAA Tournament coming to the city, Booker added, “for us, it’s about finding more platforms to tell our truth, and this obviously is a sturdy, tall platform that a lot of people are going to see. We’re going to take full advantage to show people what we are as a city. My team over the last five years has tried to attack the negative, because we have such a great story to tell.”
For all hornface.com tournament coverage: