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June 11, 2012IRVING, Texas - Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and Tulsa Athletics Director Ross Parmley announced Monday that the C-USA Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will be hosted by Tulsa in 2013, as approved by the Conference Board of Directors.
Events will be held March 13-16 at the BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center in downtown Tulsa. The men's tournament will be played entirely at the BOK Center, while the women's tournament will begin at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena and end at the BOK Center.
All 12 C-USA men's and C-USA women's programs will compete in the four-day, 11-game tournament. The winner of each tournament will receive an automatic berth to the 2013 NCAA Basketball Championship.
"The Board determined that a rotational hosting model would be best moving forward in the conference," Banowsky said. "The University of Tulsa and the state-of-the-art BOK Center were excellent hosts in 2010, which was the first time we had hosted both championships in the same city. We know the Tulsa community will show the same great support and welcome our other teams and fans."
"We're excited about the opportunity to once again host the Conference USA Men's and Women's Basketball Championship in coordination with the Tulsa Sports Commission and SMG/BOK Center. This is another opportunity for The University of Tulsa to continue to expand on a great relationship with the city of Tulsa in showcasing our tremendous community and outstanding facilities," said Parmley.
The BOK Center will be hosting the Conference USA Men's Basketball Championship for the second time in the last four years. The 2010 men's tournament saw the 7th-seeded Houston Cougars upset regular season champion UTEP to receive the league's automatic NCAA berth. The 2010 C-USA Women's Championship was played on the TU campus at the Donald W. Reynolds Center, as the Tulane Green Wave captured the post-season title.
"Post-season play is an exciting time of year for all basketball fans, players and coaches, and for us to have the opportunity to play our first conference tournament at the BOK Center should be a lot of fun," said first-year Tulsa Head Coach Danny Manning. "The BOK Center is an outstanding venue. I had a chance to see how they do things during the 2011 NCAA Tournament and they were great hosts. I'm excited because it gives our fans an opportunity to support us during conference tournament play. It should be a great environment and we look forward to playing in front of a high-energy group of Golden Hurricane fans.
"This is a great opportunity to play a conference tournament in your hometown with a fairly young team. The amount of excitement and enthusiasm that the conference tournament brings will only heighten our experience and make us a better team," added Manning.
The women's tournament will also be played downtown. First round and quarterfinal round action for the women will be played at the Tulsa Convention Center Arena, while the semifinals and championship game will move across the street to the BOK Center.
"I'm ecstatic that we'll have this opportunity to play the conference tournament in Tulsa. It's a win-win for our basketball program and the community of Tulsa to have both tournaments here in our city. We're trying to build a fan base and I think the excitement and energy that a conference tournament generates only goes to help our fan base," said Tulsa Women's Coach Matilda Mossman, who enters her second season as the Golden Hurricane head coach.
"The Convention Center will be as new to us as it is to the other teams. So, I definitely don't think we have an advantage because we've never played in that facility, but if it is what's best for basketball and our community I'm all for it," said Mossman. "I think it's a win-win situation for the community and the league to have venues that are walking distance apart."