EVENT GUIDE: March Madness returns to Boise

This marks the ninth time that Boise State has played host to the NCAA Tournament, the last time being in 2009.

BOISE - March Madness returns to Boise this year for the first time in nearly a decade.

Boise State will host first- and second-round games of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. The games are set for Thursday, March 15, and Saturday, March 17, with four games being played on Thursday and two on Saturday.

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It marks the ninth time that Taco Bell Arena has played host to the tournament, the last time being in 2009.

MORE: Where to eat, drink, and play if you're visiting Boise for the NCAA Tournament

Boise State's ticket allotment is already sold out, but tickets are available through the official NCAA Ticket Exchange. Once teams are announced, tickets will likely be available through those universities' websites, and more tickets may be made available through Boise State. We will update that information here, if that happens.

MORE: Here's a look at the teams coming to Boise for NCAA Tournament

Winners of Round 2 will move on to the Sweet 16, set for March 22-25 in Omaha, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Boston. The Final Four will compete in San Antonio on March 31 and April 2.

EVENT INFORMATION (Will be updated as teams/game times are set)

NCAA Tournament Round 1 (Four Games)

Date: Thursday, March 15

No. 4 Gonzaga (30-4) vs No. 13 UNC-Greensboro (27-7)

Time: 11:30 a.m. MT


No. 5 Ohio State (24-8) vs No. 12 South Dakota State (28-6)

Time: 2:00 p.m. MT


No. 5 Kentucky (24-10) vs No. 12 Davidson (21-11)

Time: 5:10 p.m. MT


No. 4 Arizona (27-7) vs No. 13 Buffalo (26-8)

Time: 7:40 p.m. MT


NCAA Tournament Round 2 (Two Games)

Date: Saturday, March 17

Teams: 4 Gonzaga (31-4) vs. 5 Ohio State (25-8) - 5:45 p.m.

Times: No. 5 Kentucky (25-10) vs. No. 13 Buffalo (27-8) - 3:15 p.m.

Tickets: Available online at the official NCAA Ticket Exchange, and on specific teams' websites once announced. If the participating teams do not use their full allotment, Boise State may make some tickets available through the university's athletic ticket office.

WATCH: Fast facts about the 2018 NCAA men's basketball tournament

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Boise also served as a host site for the men’s tournament in 1983, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2005, and 2009. Taco Bell Arena - then called the Boise State Pavilion - hosted the west regional of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in 2002.

Taco Bell Arena is set to host the tournament again in 2021.

Some of the tournament’s most memorable games have taken place in Boise. In 2001 15th-seeded Hampton defeated Iowa State in the first round on a day where four games in Taco Bell Arena were decided by a combined seven points. Tyus Edney’s coast-to-coast buzzer-beater to lift UCLA over Missouri in 1995 also happened in Boise before the Bruins went on to win the national championship that year.


Fans attending the games on Thursday can avoid parking headaches by using the free Bronco Gameday Shuttle, a popular option during football season.

It will run two hours before the first game on Thursday (9:30 a.m.), and will continue at regular intervals until approximately one hour after the final game of the day (about 10:40 p.m.).

Pickup and Drop-off locations:

Downtown Boise: 11th Street between Front & Myrtle. The downtown pick-up and drop-off location will be marked with signage at the new 11th & Front parking garage.

Boise State University: As during the BSU football season, the drop-off point for Taco Bell Arena March Madness Tournament is the same campus location - the east side of Albertsons Stadium near Broadway Avenue.

Parking in the 11th & Front Garage for Thursday, March 15, will be discounted at just $3 per vehicle. The shuttle is not currently scheduled to run Saturday, March 17. Watch for updates as the Saturday schedule will depend on the tournament scheduling.

For more information on the Bronco Gameday Shuttle, click here.


If parking on campus, please plan to arrive AT LEAST 45 minutes to an hour early for this busy event.

A shuttle from Downtown Boise will be available continuously throughout the event day, for just $3. The downtown pickup will be located at 11th St Between Front & Myrtle and the campus drop-off will be on the East side of the Football Stadium.

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Patrons are encouraged to carpool, ride Lyft or Uber, take a taxi, walk or ride a bike (a bike corral will be located on-site).

Click Here for an interactive Boise State University campus map.

Parking in the West Stadium Lot is Reserved for Media, Teams & Staff and Accessible Parking Needs. The East Stadium Lot was sold in advance of the tournament. Parking in all other campus areas will be available on a space-by-space basis, for $30 per space.

Accessible Parking:

Designated parking is available for guests with accessible needs on a first-come, first-served basis in the West Stadium Parking Lot for the standard $30/space rate. Accessible paring is also available in the Lincoln parking garage accompanied by a shuttle service.


Entrances 1, 2 and 3 will be open for the games. Elevators are located inside both Entrances 1 and 2. Entrance 4 is reserved exclusively for credentialed media and Player Pass Guests.

An outdoor event space will be available for all guests off of Lobby 4, with food trucks, tented areas, TV’s, tables and music.

Taco Bell Arena is prepped and ready to host the first- and second-rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. (Photo: Jay Tust/KTVB)


Walk-through Magnetometer Screenings will be utilized for the 2018 NCAA Tournament at Taco Bell Arena

Arrive Early to ensure ample screening time. Backpacks and large bags greater than 14”x14”x6” are not permitted Outside containers of any kind are not permitted (water bottles, etc.) No pocket knives, chains, sharp objects, or any other questionable items that may be used as a weapon. View the full list of prohibited items


Taco Bell Arena is equipped with elevators at Entrances 1 and 2. Should you require a wheelchair escort or other special assistance in reaching your seat, please see any Guest Service staff member. There is also an ADA entrance lane at each open entrance; this lane is on the right-hand side of the identified lanes.