Memphis to play host to the first ever AAC Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament

As expected the Memphis based Fed Ex Forum will host the first ever AAC Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament. (Photo:Fed Ex Forum)

The first ever 2014 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, will take place in Memphis. The announcement was made today by commissioner  Mike Aresco.

While Tampa and Cincinnati were in the running for the AAC Championship they were always considered long shots to land the tournament. From day one most basketball insiders thought the tournament would end up in Memphis. Today it was made official by the conference.

In a statement made by the commissioner he said:

“We are very excited to have the first American Athletic Conference championship at FedExForum,” said Aresco.  “We received significant interest from many outstanding venues. The Fed Ex 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 dates of the 2014 championship are March 12-15.  Each game of the 10-team tournament will be televised one of the ESPN networks.  The championship game on Saturday, March 15, will be televised on ESPN.

The big takeaway here is that the conference title game will get that key final Saturday time slot. In the past the 6 p.m. slot belonged to either the Pac 12 or the Big 12 and now the AAC can lay claim to the prime spot.

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.

Earlier in the week it was announced that the Women’s Basketball Championship tournament will be played at the the Mohegan Sun Arena at the casino. They beat out a bid put forth by Orlando to host the ACC Women’s event.