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AAC tournament moving to Hartford

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: theday.com

Published April 14. 2014 11:00AM   Updated April 14. 2014 2:19PM

The American Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament is moving from Memphis to Hartford.

The XL Center will host the 2015 conference tournament.

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco made the official announcement on a conference call this afternoon.

“We are pleased to bring our 2015 men’s basketball championship to the city of Hartford and to this outstanding arena,” Aresco said. “The success of UConn’s men’s and women’s teams this year has made Connecticut the center of college basketball nationally.

"This event will enjoy tremendous fan support and our visitors will enjoy the many attractions in Hartford and its surrounding communities.”

Hartford was one of six cities to submit bids for the 2015 event. The plan is to rotate the tournament site, according to Aresco who added that he would announce the 2016 and 2017 hosts on Tuesday.

"Hartford submitted an outstanding bid...," Aresco said. "And they have an excellent overall plan for this event. There will be many activities for our visiting fans."

Here's UConn coach Kevin Ollie's reaction: "We are excited and proud that the American Conference has chosen the XL Center as the site for next season's men's championship tournament. ... We want to keep Connecticut in the college basketball spotlight."

Memphis hosted the inaugural AAC tournament last month. Louisville beat UConn in the championship game. The Huskies went on to win the program's fourth national championship.

Aresco stated during the conference tournament that the AAC had a one year option to return to Memphis, but planned to check out other sites.

Hartford hasn't host a men's conference tournament since the 1982 Big East tourney.

Aresco said that conference would announce its 2015 AAC tournament site for women's basketball later this week. Today's news about Hartford serving as men's host doesn't impact the Mohegan Sun's chances to bring back the women's event, according to Aresco.

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