SAN JOSE -- March Madness will return to San Jose in the not-too-distant future, or so it would appear.

A high-ranking NCAA official gave the four-day event at HP Pavilion glowing reviews and said nothing had transpired to prevent San Jose from hosting the tournament again.

Scott Barnes singled out the West Coast Conference, which served as the host, and HP Pavilion.

"It has been a class-A site; we're very pleased with the support for the event,'' said Barnes, a member of the Division I Men's basketball Committee (aka: the selection committee), which oversees the tournament.

"I walked into the arena for the first time and thought it was six or eight years old, and it's 20. It has made for a great fan experience. Its functionality is at a high level.''

This is the final year of the current hosting cycle. The western sites for the 2014 and 2015 tournaments have been awarded, but San Jose is an option in either 2016 or 2017, Barnes said.

NCAA officials have long praised San Jose as a host because of HP Pavilion, the number of hotels and restaurants near the arena and the proximity of the airport to downtown.

HP Pavilion previously played host to March Madness in 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2010

"Getting back to a venue like this is important to us,'' Barnes said.

For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.



Advertisement