Conference USA moves 2013 basketball tournaments to Tulsa
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Monday, June 11, 2012
6/11/12 at 5:26 PM
The 2013 Conference USA basketball tournaments have been moved to Tulsa, it was announced on Monday by league and University of Tulsa officials.
On March 13-16, men’s games will be played at the BOK Center. The women’s championship game and semifinals also are conducted at the BOK Center, while first-round and quarterfinal contests are played at the nearby Convention Center.
The University of Memphis had been scheduled to host the 2013 C-USA men’s and women’s tournaments. However, after Memphis announced in February its plan to join the Big East Conference before the start of the 2013-14 sports calendar, Conference USA officials began to explore the possibility of pulling the event from Memphis and taking it elsewhere.
After the C-USA Board of Directors considered various options, it was determined that the 2013 tournaments would be played in Tulsa.
In 2010, the C-USA men’s tournament was played at the BOK Center while the women played at TU’s Reynolds Center.
Quoted in a news release issued by TU, C-USA Commissioner Britton 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."
Said TU athletic director Ross Parmley: “This is another opportunity for (TU) to continue to expand on a great relationship with the city of Tulsa in showcasing our tremendous community and outstanding facilities.”
When TU hosted the 2010 event, tournament officials were disappointed by attendance figures. For three BOK Center games involving the Golden Hurricane men, the average attendance was 8,120. Officials had expressed hope that the attendance average would exceed 10,000.
Considering that he goes to battle with a young, retooled team, new Golden Hurricane men’s coach Danny Manning said he appreciates the opportunity to play the conference tournament in Tulsa.
“The BOK Center is an outstanding venue,” Manning said. “(As an assistant at Kansas), 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.”