Championship college basketball is coming to Huntsville in 2024 and 2025, with the Conference USA Men's and Women's Basketball Championships being hosted in Propst Arena at the VBCC.
The announcement was made on Thursday by C-USA commissioner Judy McLeod. Next season's tournament will begin on March 12 and conclude on March 16. It will be the first time since Birmingham hosted in 2017 that the tournament wasn't held inside the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas. Overall, the men's tournament has previously been held at eight different locations, and the women's tournament has been at 13 different sites.
The tournament will be hosted in partnership with the Huntsville/Madison County CVB, the Huntsville Sports Commission and Knight Eady. The multi-year agreement is for two seasons with an opportunity to extend.
"We are very excited to have our men's and women's basketball teams compete for a conference championship and berth in the NCAA tournament at Propst Arena in Huntsville," MacLeod said in a press release. "We can't wait to get started partnering with the team from the City, Sports Commission, CVB and Knight Eady to put on a first-class event for our student-athletes, universities and fans while enjoying all Huntsville has to offer."
Winners of the men's and women's tournaments will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. The new look C-USA includes holdovers Western Kentucky, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and UTEP and newcomers Jacksonville State, Liberty, New Mexico State, Kennesaw State and Sam Houston. Kennesaw State played in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, while Liberty and Sam Houston were in the NIT.
"We are proud to welcome the Conference USA men's and women's basketball championships to Huntsville and our renovated Propst Arena," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle in a press release. "March Madness will be starting in the Rocket City next year, and we can't wait to showcase our great city to all the student-athletes, coaches, fans, and alumni attending the event."
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819News.com.
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