Ole Miss and BL Harbert International announced the construction of a new $68.9 million basketball arena on Monday. Coming in at approximately 230,000 square feet, construction is scheduled to begin immediately and be completed by late 2015, with a target opening for the 2016 Ole Miss basketball season.
The 9,600-seat arena will include the basketball court, locker room suites for players and coaches, training facilities, a Courtside Club, All-American Suites and an Arena Club.
Kansas City-based architect AECOM will be the architect for the new Ole Miss arena.
The new arena will be right next to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the southeast side of the school’s campus. Ole Miss basketball has played in the 9,065-seat Tad Smith Coliseum since 1965.
“We are honored to build a marquee project for Ole Miss that will have a lasting impact on a college campus and its students for the next 50 years. BL Harbert looks forward to working with AECOM and the University in providing the students with another great SEC Arena,” BL Harbert President of U.S. Operations Gary W. Savage said in the release.
BL Harbert recently constructed the Auburn University Arena, which was completed in 2010. AECOM designed the Memphis FedEx Forum and the Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field.
A new stadium is always a tremendous recruiting tool and with the arena coming right next to the Ole Miss football stadium, it makes for a nice area on campus where fans can always go to attend marquee sporting events.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.
For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.
The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.
2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.
3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.
4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.
5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.
VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun
No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.
Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.
But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.
It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:
After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: