2013-14 is a brand new season for the No. 1 ranked UConn women's basketball team, who are playing in a brand new conference—the American Athletic Conference (better known as “the American”). And after 10 straight seasons of playing the Big East Championship tournament in Hartford—the Huskies' home court—this season, the new league will be playing its championships at a new venue: the Mohegan Sun Arena (MSA).
While some may raise eyebrows at a championship being played at a venue best known for gambling, that is complete nonsense. For starters, the Connecticut Sun have played all their home games at the MSA for the past 10 years. And while yes, gambling is available to patrons of the Arena a short walk past the entrance doors, we're talking about slots and tables. The only sports gambling in the entire facility is in the sportsbook—on thoroughbred, harness and dog racing, as well as Jai-Alai. After all, this ain't Vegas, baby.
In anticipation of great attendance at this year's tourney (which is, after all, being held at a tourist destination as opposed to downtown Hartford) all-session ticket packages for the 2014 American Women’s Basketball Championship will go on sale tomorrow—Friday, November 15—at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets will be available at all Ticketmaster outlets. The Championship will be played held March 7-10, 2014.
All 10 American teams will battle for the conference’s automatic NCAA tournament bid. Besides Connecticut, the defending national champion, the 2014 American Women's Basketball Championship will showcase defending Big East champion and national runner-up Louisville, South Florida, a 2014 NCAA Tournament entrie, and two 2014 WNIT teams, Memphis and SMU. Central Florida, Cincinnati, Houston, Rutgers, and Temple will also contend for the American title.
Package tickets to all nine games of the championship will be available for $99—representing nearly a 33 percent discount over face value. In addition to Ticketmaster, ticket offices at all 10 American institutions will have all-session packages available, and tickets may also be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena Box Office beginning Nov. 15. Daily box office hours at the arena are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. All ticket purchases are subject to additional convenience fees.
Tickets can also be acquired by phone or online. To purchase via phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Both the Mohegan Sun website (www.mohegansun.com) and Ticketmaster () will have packages available for online purchase. For in formation on discounts for group sales of 10 or more, contact the Connecticut Sun Group Sales Department at (860) 862-4000.
The American Women's Basketball Championship will be telecast via the ESPN family of networks. The first round and quarterfinals will be carried live on ESPN3 on March 7 and 8. The semifinals will be televised on ESPNU on March 9, with the championship game on ESPN or “The Deuce” (ESPN2) on March 10. Tip-off times will be set at a later date.
In addition, the American Digital Network, the league’s online home for live streaming audio and video, will provide fans with behind-the-scenes features and wrap-around content from the Championship. For all Championship information, please visit www.TheAmerican.org/WBB.
In the “Good News/Bad News” department, UConn announced on Wednesday that Preseason All-American forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis will be out indefinite period, and her replacement, sophomore Morgan Tuck, likely will miss 4-6 weeks of action. Now, that can be construed as bad news. However, both should be back in action by the time conference play begins, or shortly thereafter.
No structural damage was found in KML's injured elbow, although she was diagnosed with a nerve contusion and hence her indefinite return. Tuck, meanwhile, underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair cartilage in her right knee. She is expected to miss “at least one month,” while KML's elbow will be re-examined next week.