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Where Conference Tournaments Should Be

Posted by Sean Rowland on March 8, 2012

Madison Square Garden Should be Good Enough to Host Two Conference Tournaments

Though this post is kind of late, I wanted to get something up before it becomes irrelevant. By now, you’ve probably gathered I love college basketball and this is the penultimate fortnight with all of these conference tournaments as everything gets whittled down to a nice, tidy 68 teams in bracket form. The conference tournaments can be just as fun as the main tournament, especially those where the only way to get in to the dance is by winning your league. The venue is important too and though I enjoy when the home team hosts and a raucous environment ensues (along with a possible court storming), a conference tourney in my opinion should be held at a neutral (or almost neutral) court. Some have it right the way it is now, but others could use some help on where to place their tournament. So below are some thoughts on which arena should be the home for each of the 31 conference tournaments. And if the Ivy had one, I’d put it in MSG.

a

Good the Way it is
Atlantic 10: Atlantic City, NJ – Boardwalk Hall
…….I would rather they not move to Brooklyn and the Barclays next year

Big XII: Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
…….Perfect spot in a basketball and championship-rich city

Big East: New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
…….Home to St. John’s, but its the Big East and MSG…it needs to be here

Big Ten: Indianapolis, IN – (insert financial organization here) Fieldhouse
…….Basketball’s home state is perfect for a Big conference tournament

Big West: Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
…….The California Bus League features most if it’s members in SoCal, so Anaheim works well

Colonial: Richmond, VA – Richmond Coliseum
…….VCU gets an unfair home advantage, but this tournament always will belong in Virginia’s capital

C-USA: Memphis, TN – FedEx Forum
…….Spaced out conference that I can’t really think of a more improved spot

MAC: Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena
…….Excellent location and fans travel well here. Too bad they switched to a stupid staggered bracket format

MEAC: Winston-Salem, NC – Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
…….Good centralized spot in the conference

Missouri Valley: St Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
…….In my opinion, the best conference tournament in the country

Pac-12: Los Angeles, CA – Staples Center
…….It may not have the history like the Big East, but it’s similar in that the tournament just deserves to be here,
…….despite being home to UCLA and USC. Maybe they should follow suit though with MSG and dim the lights for those
…….weekday afternoon games when the arena is 20% full.

Southern: Asheville, NC – Asheville Civic Center
…….Terrific move by the Southern Conference this year to move the tournament to beautiful Western NC

Southland: Katy, TX – Merrill Center
…….Small arena in a Houston suburb became the spot a few years and should be here to stay. Happy with this tourney

SWAC: Garland, TX – Garland Special Events Center
…….I’m indifferent here, but this new spot seems like a good idea

Sun Belt: Hot Springs, AR – Summit Arena
…….Spread out conference, but at least Hot Springs is a destination to spend a few days

Summit: Sioux Falls, SD – Sioux Falls Arena
…….See C-USA

West Coast: Las Vegas, NV – Orleans Arena
…….You can’t beat Vegas and this change in the last few years has paid dividends. Great tourney and site

WAC: Las Vegas, NV – Orleans Arena
…….Another Vegas site that works well with the conference. Not sure how ideal it is next year though with all those
…….Texas teams joining


Could Do Better
Big Sky: move it to Boise, ID and the CenturyLink Center
…….A wide-ranging small conference might do well in a mid-sized, mid-city venue

MAAC: move it to Newark, NJ and the Prudential Center
…….Kudos to the MAAC this season for the first time going to a neutral site in Springfield, MA. But I like America East
…….there, making Newark a good spot for the MAAC

Mountain West: move it to Salt Lake City, UT and the EnergySolutions Arena
…….Las Vegas is great, but let’s get it off UNLV’s home court. I like Salt Lake, but things may get weird with no more
…….Utah or BYU

Ohio Valley: move it to Louisville, KY and the Freedom Hall
…….Nashville and the Auditorium is fine, but Tennessee State is home. How bout Louisville as host? Freedom Hall
…….gets back to the spotlight and the state gets to show us whether it truly is basketball-crazy or just UK/UL-crazy
…….(I’ve always thought the latter)

SEC: move it to Birmingham, AL and the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex
…….I have no problem with New Orleans, but I think of Birmingham with the SEC (not sure why). Atlanta works too


Definitely Change to This
ACC: return it to Greensboro, NC and the Greensboro Coliseum
…….My bias towards tradition comes out. The ACC should always be in Greensboro

America East: move it to Springfield, MA and the MassMutual Center
……Pretty much the geographical center for all schools

Atlantic Sun: move it to Savannah, GA and the Savannah Civic Center
…… A nice destination town within driving distance of most schools. Get rid of having your second-best team host

Big South: move it to Charlotte, NC and the Bojangles Coliseum
…….Time Warner Cable Arena is obviously too big for the “Big South”, but Bojangles and Charlotte is a nice fit

Horizon: move it to Fort Wayne, IN and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
…….Midwestern City School league deserves a neutral site

NEC: move it to Bridgeport, CT and the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard
…….Not ideal as there’s not much to the city and Sacred Heart is close by…might be better options out there

Patriot: move it to Philadelphia, PA and The Palestra
…….Love for this to happen. Make it a nice and tidy Fri-Sat-Sun eight team tournament. Plus I’m sure there are ton of …….alumni in the city to make for decent crowds

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