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NCAA Basketball Is Coming to China, With Help From Alibaba

The Huskies and Longhorns will play a regular-season game in Shanghai that will be streamed online throughout the country
The Wisconsin Badgers huddle before taking on the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA championship game on April 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Photographer: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Alibaba is hoping to re-create March Madness in November. The Chinese online shopping giant is teaming up with top leagues in the National Collegiate Athletic Association to stream the first regular-season games played in the country online. Alibaba will exclusively carry the men's basketball games in China, starting with the showdown on Nov. 14 between the University of Washington Huskies and the University of Texas Longhorns.

The Huskies' Pac-12 Conference says the game against the Longhorns will be the first one played in China by any U.S. college or professional sports teams during a regular season. Exhibition games have taken place in the country before, but this one will count on the two teams' records. The sponsorship agreement with Alibaba was negotiated over six months, and organizers are expecting a significant turnout. The first game will be held in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, which seats 18,000 people.