After what was a quite successful inaugural season from the American Athletic Conference, almost only thanks to UConn winning the national championship, the conference has rewarded their breadwinner with the conference tournament being played at their second-home gym, the XL Center in Hartford.
A lot of factors went into this decision I'm sure, as the tournament this past March in Memphis, TN had some pretty lame attendance but those who went seemed to have an enjoyable time in what is a very fun city. With the Women's tournament at Mohegan Sun, there was some wariness as to putting the Men's tournament in the same market. But after UConn fans took over Madison Square Garden in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight of the NCAA's, it must have seemed like the safe play for AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco to move the tournament to the Conference's best fan base.
In what is most likely just a one-year deal, I think Hartford will surprise many as it will be a formidable venue for the event (as long as UConn keeps winning). Connecticut rarely gets a chance to host events like this, and I believe the state will do everything it can to make this as an enjoyable experience as possible. The XL Center is right in the middle of Hartford's mini downtown, along with some terrific restaurants and decent hotels all within a 5 minute walk of each other.
I know I am personally excited about being able to return to our Conference tournament and see KO and the boys look to defend their championship in the month of March, but how does everyone else feel about the AAC tournament gracing the Insurance Capitol of the World?
Press Conference at 1:30