Traveling for March Madness? Here’s what to expect.


With the biggest tournament for college basketball tipping off later this week, many are traveling to watch their teams compete.

For the first round of the tournament, these games will be played on March 17th and 18th. For both the first and second rounds games will be played in Indianapolis, Buffalo, Portland, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Greenville, San Diego, and Milwaukee. More specifically Iowa will play in Buffalo on the 17th, Iowa State plays in Milwaukee on the 18th, and Illinois plays in Pittsburgh on the 18th.

If you have plans to head out to these cities for the first two rounds here’s what you can expect for possible travel impacts.

Here’s a closer look at the day-by-day travel impacts.

Wednesday, March 16th

Showers and a few thunderstorms are expected in the Southwest as a small low pressure moves through the area. This will not likely have any major impacts on travel to that area. A few rain/snow showers are also expected around Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming but no tournament games will be played there.

Thursday, March 17th – Games played in Indianapolis, Buffalo, Portland, and Fort Worth.

By Thursday, the Colorado area can be expected snow which will have an impact there. But a few showers and thunderstorms might kick up near Fort Worth in the afternoon as round one kicks off. Otherwise in Portland, Buffalo (Iowa Hawkeyes), and Indianapolis things look just fine!

Friday, March 18th – Games played in Pittsburgh, Greenville, San Diego, and Milwaukee.

Friday, round one kicks off for more teams in San Diego, Milwaukee (Iowa State Cyclones), Pittsburgh (Illinois), and Greenville. These areas should be fine by game time, but travel could be impacted a bit through most of the central portions in the United States. Showers and thunderstorms will be moving through the central U.S. and into the Eastern U.S. by Saturday.

Saturday, March 19th – Games played in Indianapolis, Buffalo, Portland, and Fort Worth.

Saturday, round 2 tips off for the tournament. Travel impacts will be limited to the Western U.S., Eastern U.S., and the Great Lakes Area. Mainly just showers for these areas, but heavier snow can be expected in the far Northeast U.S.

Sunday, March 20th – Games played in Pittsburgh, Greenville, San Diego, and Milwaukee.

For Sunday, the other half of round two will begin. Travel impacts will be minimal across the country, the Upper Rockies will see chances for rain and snow as will the Northeastern U.S. If Illinois makes it to round 2 fans can expect showers and cold temperatures in the area.

Monday, March 21st

With tournament play paused for the week, but for those traveling home showers and thunderstorms are expected in the Southern U.S. as well as snow wrapping up in the far Northeast.

Tuesday, March 22nd

Tuesday, showers are expected to move through the Central U.S. with thunderstorms further to the South near the Gulf.

Wednesday, March 23rd

Lastly, by Wednesday the line of showers will begin to move into the Eastern United States. As for how the Sweet 16 starts next Thursday showers will still be expected in the Eastern U.S., we will take a closer look next week before those rounds tip off.

The Sweet 16 will be played in San Antonio, San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia.



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