The day before 347 teams begin their chase to the 2013 men's Final Four, the NCAA unveiled its logo for the 2014 championship.
That one, which will be played on April 5 and 7 of 2014, will be hosted by the Big 12 and the University of North Texas and take place at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (This year's is in Atlanta. See its logo here.)
You know, this monstrosity of a bolted-down spacecraft.
It is, of course, the first time the NCAA will play in that 100,000-seat stadium. But overall, it will be the seventh Final Four in Texas. In the past, San Antonio has hosted thrice, Houston twice and Dallas once. Houston, which was where UConn beat Butler for the 2011 title in one of the ugliest basketball games in recorded history, will unfortunately host the whole shebang again come 2016. (Sorry, Houston, most everyone agrees it's not a good fit.)
Thoughts on the logo? I think it's fine, but the overall gray approach is a bit of a turnoff; it reminds me of the NFL's recent hideous decision to bland up all of its Super Bowl logos for the near future.
"The NCAA is looking forward to bringing the Final Four back to North Texas after nearly 30 years,” Mike Bobinski, chair of the Division I Men's Basketball Committee and director of athletics at Xavier University, said in a statement. "The next 500 days will be an exciting time for basketball fans in this area, who can celebrate 75 years of March Madness by going to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games at Cowboys Stadium in March and then watch as the Big 12 Conference and the North Texas Local Organizing Committee stage what promises to be a Final Four to remember in 2014."
Huh. Did not realize Thursday's unsheathing coordinated with 500 days until the 2014 Final Four. Makes sense, then. By the way, the venue won't have to wait a year and a half to get its tournament debut; it's NCAA protocol that all Final Four sites get their dress rehearsal via a regional site the year before, so the 2013 tourney will have Cowboys Stadium as the destination for the South Region's Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games.