Tuesday, June 11, 2013

All the Way to Memphis: 2014 AAC Tournament to be Held in the River City

It's official: the American Athletic Conference will hold its 2014 men's basketball championships in Memphis, at the 18,400-seat FedExForum.

It's not Madison Square Garden and New York City, but it's a fine alternative. I've never been to Memphis, but those I know who have say it's a great, vibrant city, with Beale Street, great music, cuisine, etc. And it's a tremendous college hoops town, so the whole show should be a good one this year.

Here's the press release from the AAC:

FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., one of the nation’s premier basketball venues, will be the site of the 2014 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, Commissioner Mike Aresco announced.
 
“We are very excited to have the first American Athletic Conference championship at FedExForum,” said Aresco.  “We received significant interest from many outstanding venues.  FedExForum 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 dates of the 2014 championship are March 12-15.  Each game of the 10-team tournament will be televised on the ESPN networks.  The championship game on Saturday, March 15, will be televised on ESPN.  The tournament will begin with two first-round games on Wednesday, March 12.  Two quarterfinal doubleheaders will be played on Thursday, March 13, followed by a semifinal doubleheader on Friday, March 14.  Game times will be announced at a later date.
 
FedExForum has a seating capacity of 18,400.  It is located off historic Beale Street and its vibrant and popular entertainment district.
 
FedExForum is the home to the University of Memphis men’s basketball team and the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.  The building also has hosted regional rounds of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships.  After the American Athletic Championship, it will host the 2014 NCAA South Regional. 
 
The first season of men’s basketball under The American banner will include a very strong nucleus of teams, starting with Louisville, the 2013 national champion.  Memphis is coming off a 31-5 season, which included advancing to the third round of the NCAA Championship.  Temple also played in the third round of the NCAAs while compiling a 24-10 mark.  Cincinnati finished 22-12 while participating in its third straight NCAA tourney.  Connecticut, UCF and Houston all enjoyed 20-win seasons.
 
For 2013-14, the American Athletic Conference will include the University of Central Florida, University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, University of Houston, University of Louisville, University of Memphis, Rutgers University, University of South Florida, Southern Methodist University, and Temple University.

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