THE FIRST MEN’S BASKETBALL tournament in the American Athletic Conference’s will be played, as expected, at Memphis’ FedEx Forum. The league made the official announcement today.
The conference formerly known as the Big East, of which UConn is a member, will play its women’s basketball tournament at Mohegan Sun in 2014. The XL Center in Hartford as well as Mohegan Sun had also bid for the men’s tournament but league officials settled on Memphis instead.
“We received significant interest from many outstanding venues,” American Commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “FedEx Forum is an outstanding facility and the Forum, the city of Memphis, the University of Memphis and the local community will combine to create a wonderful inaugural event that our teams, coaches, administrators and fans will embrace and enjoy.”
The tournament will be held March 12-15, 2014, with all 10 teams participating. The top four seeds will receive first-round byes with quarterfinal doubleheaders on that Thursday and a semifinal doubleheader on Friday. All of the games will be on the ESPN family (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc) of networks.
The championship game will be March 15 (Saturday) night on ESPN. No start time has been announced but Aresco said last month it would probably begin at 6 p.m.
FedEx Forum seats 18,400 fans and is home to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis basketball team. It will also serve as a host for the second and third rounds (a South sub-regional/pod) of the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
In 2013-14 the American will consists of: UConn, Memphis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Temple, Central Florida, Houston, Rutgers, South Florida, SMU.
In 2014-15 the league loses Louisville (ACC) and Rutgers (Big Ten) while adding Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina.
— THE NCAA IS about to release its latest APR figures.
The numbers are from 2011-12 and UConn is expected to post a one-year score similar to its 2010-11 number, around 978. That should put the Huskies well clear of the penalty threshold. (ie. no more postseason issues).
Check the NCAA’s website in a while to confirm the numbers.
— IN CASE YOU missed it, here’s my story from Monday’s paper with a bunch of UConn tidbits, including the matchup with BC, Enosch Wolf’s situation and Jim Calhoun’s trip to Israel.