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The Virginian-Pilot(Norfolk, VA.)

The Atlantic Coast Conference will play its men's basketball tournament at Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2017 and 2018, a person with knowledge of the deal said Friday.

The move sets up a conference tournament showdown with the Big East tournament, held simultaneously at Madison Square Garden, and brings former Big East members Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Notre Dame, Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech back to New York in March.

In its first two years of existence, Barclays Center has made a concerted effort to establish itself as a go-to destination for high-level college basketball through preseason tournaments like the Coaches Vs. Cancer and Barclays Classic, along with the Atlantic 10 tournament. Next year, two ACC teams - Duke and Virginia - are scheduled to play in Brooklyn as well.

Sports Illustrated first reported news of a possible move Friday morning, indicating the arena and the conference were close to an agreement.

In a statement Friday, however, ACC commissioner John Swofford said: "Future tournament sites is not a new topic, as it's been discussed for the last several years and continues to be under discussion. At this time, the ACC tournament will be in Greensboro in 2015 and Washington, D.C., in 2016. Our schools will determine where it is held beyond 2016, and while we appreciate all of the interest in the future of this great event, we do not have anything to announce at this time, nor will we during the course of this tournament."

Details of the move were being worked out. The Atlantic 10 began holding its tournament in Brooklyn in 2013, and its contract runs through 2017. Last year, the Atlantic 10 averaged only 6,310 fans per game in the tournament, which ranked 11th among all leagues.

Commissioner Bernadette McGlade reiterated the terms of the Atlantic 10's contract with Barclays Center in a statement. She added: "At this time, there is no announcement related to future tournaments. This weekend is about crowning our 2014 A-10 champion."

A-10 presidents and athletic directors were reportedly meeting Friday to discuss a deal with the ACC. The Atlantic 10 was said to be open to moving its games to earlier in the week or to Nassau Coliseum, but was interested in creating a regular-season nonconference scheduling agreement with the ACC and its host of perennial contenders.

In recent years, there was a desire by the ACC to hold its tournament at Madison Square Garden, but that arena's deal with the Big East runs through 2026.

 

March 15, 2014

 

 
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