UAB to Host 2015 Conference USA Basketball Tourney


Mar 11, 2013; Hot Springs, AR, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers celebrate after defeating the Florida International Panthers during the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament at Summit Arena. Western Kentucky defeated Florida International 65-63. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

We are a little over a month departed from the 2013-14 basketball campaign, and already news has started gearing up for the coming season, WKU’s first in Conference-USA. Yesterday afternoon Conference-USA’s league office released the report that the University of Alabama-Birmingham will be the battle grounds for the league’s post season basketball action; pending the approval from the C-USA board of directors.

The tournament’s tentative dates have been set for March 11th through the 14th. This will be the second time UAB has played host to the tournament, and will be the first since the clock turned on Y2K when the Blazers were the tourney venue in 1999. Birmingham also hosted the Sun Belt’s tournament during their tenure in the league spanning from 1978 to 1991.

UAB Athletic Director Brian Mackin commented on the news stating,

"With Birmingham in a central location within the Conference USA geographic footprint, the proximity will allow many of the teams and their fans to travel to the tournaments.  This will provide a great opportunity to increase attendance for both tournaments."

The men’s tournament will be played at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, with the women’s games occurring at UAB’s own Bartow Arena. 

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the Hill heading into the summer as WKU will enjoy a step up in competition entering C-USA, and already being teased with basketball post season info has this Hilltopper fan counting down the days until the new basketball season tips off.

The drive from Bowling Green to Birmingham will just be a short 3 hour and 52 minute drive, totaling up to be 257 miles to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. Also, UAB seems like a much more desireable destination that UTEP, where last year’s tournament was held. Nothing against the Miners, but a 9:30 conference championship game? No thanks.

After falling just short in NOLA and the SBC this year, let’s all hope that Birmingham will provide the Tops with a warm and victorious welcome to C-USA post season play. Hilltopper nation, sit back and relax with me, we only have a little over 5 months until WKU basketball tips off.