Lynn Hickey on NCAA Championships in SA

Following the conclusion of the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NCAA Tournament at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, UTSA Athletic Director Lynn Hickey went one-on-one with InsideRunnerSports to talk about the operation of the 2014 tournament and looked ahead to a potential future Final Four bid.

In a span of less than a week, UTSA personnel along with staff from the Spurs/AT&T Center collaborated to host the second and third round games of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

While a majority of the headlines will be dedicated to the eight teams who played six games over a three-day span in the Alamo City, there was quite a bit of coordination and operations going on behind the scenes.

Late Sunday evening, long after the final buzzer had sounded and Iowa State and Baylor had punched their tickets to the Sweet 16, UTSA Athletic Director Lynn Hickey went one-on-one with InsideRunnerSports to talk about this event:

What are your thoughts on how the event was managed?
"I can't say enough about how hard our staff worked. It's pretty unbelievable. We had people here the first night that were setting up here that had two hours of sleep and then came back and worked another full 15 hours."

What did you think about the games?
"We had some great teams here and some great games. We didn't sell all of the tickets we wanted to but the building really looked good. It looked packed at the games. So how we looked on TV was very positive. "

How was it different having the event at the AT&T Center vs the Alamodome where prior events were held?
"It was great working with the Spurs. It's a beautiful building. For a first-time collaboration, I thought it went really well. There is more back of the house space at the Alamodome. So some of the things we needed to do may have been simpler at the Alamodome because of that. But I can't say enough about the Spurs staff, they've been great. They were very calm. This was their first experience with the NCAA. It had to be interesting for them because the standards are high and the NCAA is very specific on what needs to be done. Every time we saw a problem, the Spurs and AT&T Center staff responded extremely well. It was an honor to be in this building."

Does performing well at this event mean a Final Four bid is likely?
"Not really. I think it was important that we performed well and that we showed as a staff that we had our act together. Every time you have an opportunity to work with the NCAA and can do a good job then when you go back in front of them again there's going to be a good taste in their mouth. But the Final Four is a completely different setting. It's a pre-sold-out event. We have a great legacy here on running NCAA Championships. I don't think we hurt that, I think we just continued that legacy with this effort."

What is the upcoming timeline for the Final Four bid?
"We will take a contingency to Dallas (for the Final Four) where all of the future hosts will be in meetings all week. We will actually have a short face-to-face representation with Jeanne Boyd (Managing Director of Division I Men's Basketball Championships for the NCAA). Then there will be site visits later in the spring and early in the summer. Then in November we will make our final presentation. They'll decide fairly quickly. We should know by the first part of December."

Talk about the NCAA Tournament in the San Antonio in the RunnerNation Forum.

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