NEW ORLEANS (SunBeltSports.org) – The Sun Belt Conference announced today its complete schedule for the league's men's and women's basketball championships that are taking place at New Orleans' Lakefront Arena from March 12 through 16.
The men's championship tournament will begin on Thursday, March 13 and will conclude with the championship game being played at 12 p.m. (CT) on Sunday, March 16. The championship game will air on ESPN2 on "Selection Sunday."
The women's championship tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 12 and will run through Saturday, March 15 with the championship game being played at 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN3.
"Moving our tournament dates to matchup with the last weekend of the season is something that we have been working very hard on with ESPN and Lakefront Arena," said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson. "Our schedule now gives our fans more flexibility when traveling to New Orleans and gives them a long weekend to enjoy the city. Our men's basketball championship game airing on ESPN2 on Selection Sunday provides us with an excellent opportunity to showcase the league."
This past spring the Sun Belt announced that the championships will feature the top eight teams from the regular season standings and not the entire membership. Additionally, the men's tournament for 2014 will be conducted with byes to the quarterfinals for the third and fourth seeded teams, while the first and second seeded teams will receive byes to the semifinals. The 2014 women's tournament will feature a more traditional eight-team bracket.
In addition to the men's finals airing on ESPN2, every game of the men's tournament will air on the Sun Belt Network. The semifinals of the women's tournament will also air on the Sun Belt Network, which is a partnership of regional sports networks Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST).
Ticket books for the men's and women's tournaments will be available to purchase from Sun Belt institutions and from Ticketmaster in January.