Verizon Center to host 2013 East Regional

(Photo: ABC7)

March Madness is returning to downtown Washington.

The NCAA announced Thursday that the East Regional of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will be held at the Verizon Center and be hosted by Georgetown.

The Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games will be held on March 28 and 30. Arlington, Texas, Los Angeles and Indianapolis will host the other three regionals for next year's tournament. It will be the sixth time since 1998 that the D.C. area will host NCAA Tournament games.

"We’re happy to bring this great event to our city for Georgetown fans and others who love March Madness," Georgetown Athletic Director Lee Reed said in a statement.

2006 marked the last time the NCAA held a regional semifinal and final at the Verizon Center. During that year, George Mason continued their Cinderella run to the Final Four by knocking off Connecticut in the Elite 8.

More recently, the arena hosted 2nd and 3rd round games of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

The 2012 tournament will mark the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the NCAA Men's Tournament, and NCAA Executive Vice President{ } Mark Lewis said that it was important to hold part of it in the nation's capital.

"There was a concerted effort to include cities with a rich history to help mark that milestone," he said. "We think celebrating 75 years of one of the country’s favorite sporting events in our nation’s capital and a great basketball city is fitting.”

Ticket information for the three games that will comprise the East Regional will be released at a later date.