The new Big East has retained the rights to Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament, which means that the old Big East — the aptly named American Athletic Conference — will be forced to find a place to play their conference tournament.
According to a report over the weekend from The New London Day, Mohegan Sun is putting together an offer to try and land the new conference. The report says that they have already made a pitch to land the women’s tournament, and that at some point this week, an offer should come rolling in for the men’s tournament.
It would be interesting to see how this plays out. The AAC is quite spread out — it’s comprised of the other half of the Big East, schools like Memphis, UConn, Cincinnati, Temple, South Florida, Central Florida, etc. — but that could actually be a benefit to Mohegan’s bid. The arena that the event would be held in holds 10,000 but seems smaller than that. It wouldn’t take much to make it feel full, and with UConn being in-state — the Storrs campus is 45 minutes away — there shouldn’t be an issue of tickets being sold.
One of the biggest knocks when it comes to conference tournaments is a stale environment, and that shouldn’t be the case.
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.