PHOTO: Charleston is home to a handful of college basketball teams and this year's CAA tournament. (Photo via Flickr/James Willamor)
Another thrilling college basketball season is set to reach a climax this March with the tipoff of the NCAA Tournament. Before then, travelers will have several excellent opportunities to explore some of America's most underrated college basketball towns.
Whether touring campuses, catching some of the action on the hardwood or immersing yourself in the local culture, these four destinations offer the ideal combination of basketball and experiences during March Madness.
Charleston, South Carolina
Home to a handful of colleges and universities, including the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University and The Citadel, Charleston, will play host to the 2017 Colonial Athletic Association's men's basketball tournament March 3-6.
Held at the North Charleston Coliseum 15 minutes outside of Historic Downtown Charleston, the tournament will give visitors four days to explore one of the country's most overlooked college hoops towns. Take a stroll through Riley Waterfront Park or unwind on a Charleston Brews Cruise. If the weather is cooperating, a walking tour is arguably the best way to take in the Lowcountry.
While you don't necessarily think roundball when you think of Hartford, this year the city is the site of the 2017 American Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament March 9-12.
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Those looking to take in the action at the XL Center will want to find time to explore the city's many beautiful parks as well as some of its world-class museums, perhaps none more special than the Mark Twain House & Museum.
Asheville, North Carolina
Nestled in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is the home of the University of North Carolina at Asheville as well as the host for the 2017 Southern Conference men's basketball tournament March 3-6.
Moreso than a college town, though, Asheville is renowned for its unrivaled architecture. Visitors will want to track down the Biltmore Estate and the Basilica of Saint Lawrence as well as explore the Downtown Asheville Art District and River Arts District.
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Looking for something a bit more quirky? Pay a visit to the Asheville Pinball Museum.
Once you've had your fun in Asheville, head north to Norfolk, Virginia. The independent city will host the 2017 Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference men's basketball tournament March 6-11. Home to both Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University, Norfolk is perhaps best known for housing the world's largest Navy base.
There are plenty other attractions to check out, including Mermaid Winery, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Virginia Zoo and The NorVa, which routinely hosts some of the hottest acts in music.