Friday, December 9, 2016

AAC tourney tickets are on sale now

Will winning the American Athletic Conference championship tournament be UConn's only way to an NCAA tourney bid this season? Too early to tell, but that chance certainly exists.

Helping the Huskies' cause will be the fact that the AAC tourney will be held at the XL Center in Hartford for the second time in three years. Tickets for the event are now available to the general public.

Here's the press release sent out by the league:

Tickets to the 2017 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship are now available to the general public, the conference announced on Friday.

The championship will return to the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., March 9-12, 2017. All 11 American Athletic Conference teams will compete for the league title. The teams that comprise the American Athletic Conference have a combined six NCAA titles, made 22 Final Four appearances, 67 Sweet Sixteen appearances and 179 NCAA tournament appearances.

The 2017 championship will begin with three first-round games Thursday, March 9. Four quarterfinal doubleheaders will be played Friday, March 10, followed by a semifinal doubleheader Saturday, March 11. The championship will take place Sunday, March 12, just prior to the announcement of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament field. The ESPN Networks will provide television and digital coverage of the tournament. 

Ticket packages made available to the general public on Dec. 9 include lower-level and premium seats. Packages cover all 10 games of the championship, and are priced as low as $199. Tickets are available online at, in person at the XL Center box office, or by telephone at 877-522-8499. Tickets are also available from The American’s member institutions through the schools’ athletics ticket offices.

Fans may visit for the latest information on the 2017 championship.

The XL Center is Connecticut’s premier destination for sports & entertainment. The 16,000-plus seat downtown arena entertains millions of visitors annually with a variety of concerts, family shows, ice-skating spectaculars, consumer events and trade shows throughout the season. The venue has played host to an extraordinary roster of world-renowned artists, including Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Pearl Jam, Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, Drake, and many others.

The XL Center hosted the 2015 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, which culminated in SMU capturing the tournament crown to go along with its regular-season title. 

2017 American Athletic Conference Championship ∙ XL Center ∙ Hartford, Conn.
Thursday, March 9 - First Round (all times Eastern)
Game 1 – #9 seed vs. #8 seed, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 2 – #10 seed vs. #7 seed, 6 p.m. (ESPNews)
Game 3 – #6 seed vs. #11 seed, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)

Friday, March 10 - Quarterfinals
Game 4 – Game 1 winner vs. #1 seed, Noon (ESPN2)
Game 5 – #5 seed vs. #4 seed, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 6 – Game 2 winner vs. #2 seed, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Game 7 – #6 seed vs. #3 seed, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

Saturday, March 11 – Semifinals
Game 8 – Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 9 – Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Sunday, March 12 – Championship
Game 10 – Semifinal winners, 3:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Jim Boeheim's final visit to Hartford a few years ago

It's not a battle of Big East blood rival titans anymore. It's just a couple of struggling teams still trying to find themselves.

But it's still UConn-Syracuse, Monday night, Madison Square Garden. And that's still special.

Had a good (if brief) phone chat with Jim Boeheim today. He didn't want to get too much into UConn, since Syracuse plays North Florida (common opponent!) on Saturday. But here's what he did share:

Boeheim's last (and final?) visit to the XL Center came on Feb. 13, 2013 - a 66-58 loss to UConn. It was the last time the teams would ever meet as Big East rivals.

Boeheim was asked about the end of the rivalry and gave some interesting insight. But not before calling ESPN reporter Andy Katz an "idiot" and a "disloyal person" for reasons, at the time, that were unknown.

The two have apparently cleared the air since then. Still, it was a classic case of Boeheim bullying a reporter.

Labels: ,