After weeks of speculation that the American Athletic Conference would hold its first women's basketball championship at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., the new league made it official on Monday.
According to announcements from the American and UConn, the 2013-14 championship will be held Friday, March 7 to Monday, March 10, 2014.
All 10 teams in the league will participate in the tournament, with seeding based on regular-season finishes. The top four seeds will receive byes to the quarterfinal round. The semifinals will be televised on ESPNU, while the championship will be on ESPN or ESPN2. First round and quarterfinal games will be televised, with specific coverage plans to be released
"It is very exciting to all of us at UConn that the first American Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament will be played in Connecticut," UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement released by UConn. "Our state is the strongest market in the nation for the sport of women's basketball and I know our loyal UConn fan base will support this event in great numbers. I also think that the other institutions of The American and their following will enjoy the experience at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
"The XL Center in Hartford has been an incredible host of the Big East women's asketball Tournament for the past nine years. The event became the most attended conference tournament in the country. UConn athletic events will continue to have a strong presence at the XL Center, including the debut of Hockey East games in 2014-15."
Said UConn coach Geno Auriemma: "I am thrilled that The American and the Mohegan Sun Arena have entered into an agreement to host our women's basketball championship. The XL Center has served as a terrific place to hold a league championship since 2004 and continues to be an important partner for UConn.
"Mohegan Sun Arena also has a great reputation and an extensive track record of hosting first-class events. I know this venue will provide an enjoyable experience for the teams and fans alike during the 2014 American Championship.
Home to the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, the 10,000-seat, state-of-the-art Mohegan Sun Arena opened in November of 2002. The Arena has hosted championship boxing, college and professional men's and women's basketball, Davis Cup tennis, professional bull riding and professional bowling. The WNBA All Star Game has been hosted by Mohegan Sun Arena three times, with a fourth time this July.
An announcement regarding the AAC men's basketball championship is expected soon. Memphis may be the favored site although the XL Center in Hartford and Philadelphia have been mentioned as possibilities.