So, Memphis it is. The FedEx Forum. It’s not the Garden. But playing at Madison Square Garden with this group of teams wouldn’t feel right anyway.
On the surface, this is a great place to host the tournament; it’s geographically accessible to all the teams’ fan bases and it’s a large arena that seats more than 18,000 fans. As a city, Memphis certainly provides enough entertainment and accommodations (again, no New York), so it should be a solid first year.
I’d be curious to see what kind of fan support the Florida and Texas schools can draw for the event. We already know the fans will be overwhelmingly Memphis Tiger’s. Hopefully there’s just a little balance.
I know the defending national champion Cardinals are going to be a big draw, but I really wish we could skip forward a year so we don’t have to wonder about the conference that could have been if they stayed.
Regardless, they’ve certainly nailed down the best possible venue for a men’s tournament, and that’s a great step in the right direction.
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