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Pac-12 moving men's tournament to Las Vegas

Conference tournament will shift from Staples Center, where attendance had sagged, to the MGM Grand next year. Pac-12 women's tournament will move from L.A. to Seattle.

March 12, 2012|Staff and wire reports
  • Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott.
Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott. (Kirby Lee / US Presswire )

The Pac-12 Conference has scheduled a news conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Tuesday to announce that the league's men's basketball tournament will be moving there next March.

The men's tournament has been staged at Staples Center since 2002, but its agreement to play there ended this year.

Las Vegas will now be home to four conference tournaments. The West Coast and Western Athletic conferences play their tournaments back-to-back at the Orleans Arena. The Mountain West plays at the Thomas & Mack Center on the Nevada Las Vegas campus.

The Pac-12 women's tournament is also leaving L.A., and moving to Seattle's Key Arena for at least the next three seasons, the conference announced Monday.

"Seattle is one of the most prolific women's basketball markets in the country," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "We're very much looking forward to building a dynamic atmosphere in Seattle and making it one of the premier conference tournaments in the country."

The women had played in L.A. the last four seasons after six years in San Jose. The last two seasons, the schedule has been split, with the Galen Center staging the opening rounds and the tournament moving to Staples Center for the semifinals and championship game.

Next year, the women's tournament will be moved to a week ahead of the men's tournament, which Scott said will allow all games to be televised.

L.A. reportedly bid to keep both tournaments, but attendance in recent years has been sagging.

In Seattle, the women's tournament hopes to cash in on the following on the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

"They are a model franchise in the WNBA that's consistently been one of the leaders in attendance," Scott said. "We're focused on providing our student-athletes with a wonderful tournament experience and we're delighted they will play on the same floor as the two-time WNBA champions."

Lions vs. Titans

Loyola Marymount will play host to Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a first-round game in the Tournament.

LMU (19-11) is led by Anthony Ireland and Drew Viney, All-West Coast Conference first-team selections who enter the tournament averaging 15.5 and 15.0 points. Fullerton (21-9) has five starters all averaging in double figures, led by D.J. Seeley at 16.8 points per game.

Other first-round CIT games include UC Santa Barbara (20-10) at Idaho (18-13) and Cal State Bakersfield (16-14) at Utah State (17-15). Both of those games also start at 7 p.m.

The tournament is not played in brackets. The field is reseeded after each round.

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