In a fitting tribute to the UConn Huskies winning their fourth NCAA men's basketball championship last week, it was announced today that the 2014 American Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship tournament will be played at the XL Center in Hartford,
Formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, the XL Center has hosted a number of NCAA Tournament games as well as the Big East Women's Basketball Championship from 1994-2013. This past year, the American's men's tournament was held in Memphis, while the women's championship was played at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.
In addition to hosting a legion of UConn men's and women's regular-season basketball games, the facility is probably best known as the home of the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, and home of the late, great Hartford Whalers of the NHL. Seating capacity is 16,294.
Aside from the many basketball events held at the XL Center, the facility is the home of the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League and hosted the NHL's Hartford Whalers. The seating capacity for basketball at the XL Center is 16,294.
“Today's announcement puts Hartford back in the basketball tournament business,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “While this is great news for next year, I am even more excited for what this means in the future. I believe we can and should be in consideration for more NCAA tournament events, and I will continue to push to bring those games to our state.
“I want to thank the American Athletic Conference for making this decision,” continued Malloy. “I also want to send a message to college basketball fans everywhere: Come to Hartford next March. You won't be disappointed.”
The 2014-15 season will mark the second straight year in which the American Athletic Conference will feature both the defending men's and women's NCAA basketball champions. In addition, the American was the only conference to place a team in the semifinals of the Men's Final Four, the Women's Final Four, the NIT and the WNIT this past season.
Dates for the 2015 championship, in which all 11 American Athletic schools will participate, will be announced in the coming weeks. ESPN will televise and provide digital coverage of the tournament.