MACON, Ga. –
At a Friday news conference, the Atlantic Sun announced that Mercer University will host the 2012 and 2013 General Shale Brick Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships at the University Center.
Mercer, who hosted in 2010 and will do so again this March, becomes the first A-Sun school to host four consecutive Men’s or Women’s Basketball Championships. On the women’s side, the Dothan Civic Center served as the venue from 2004 through 2007.
“As the excitement of a new basketball season builds, we are pleased to announce that Mercer University and the University Center will host our premier event, the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Basketball Championships, through 2013,” Atlantic Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart said. “Mercer and the middle Georgia community hosted a tremendous championship event for the A-Sun teams and fans last March, and we look forward to working with them over the next three championships to build on that positive momentum.”
Opening for basketball in 2004, the $40 million University Center is a 3200-seat facility. In addition to the Basketball Championships, the facility hosted the 2007 and 2008 Volleyball Championships. Last year’s men’s title game between Mercer and ETSU featured one of only four title games in the country played in front of a sold out crowd on a campus site.
“Mercer University is certainly honored to once again be selected as the host site for the General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Basketball championships,” said Jim Cole, Mercer Director of Athletics. “I believe last year’s tournament showed the commitment Mercer University – and the community as a whole – has toward making this event a truly first-class championship experience in all aspects. Our goal is to do even more each year to enhance the event for the student-athletes, coaches and spectators, alike.”
The event will continue its Wednesday-Saturday schedule. The 2012 Championship will run from February 29-March 2 and the 2013 Championship will start on March 6 and conclude on March 9. The Wednesdays will feature the No. 1/No. 8 and No. 2/No. 7 quarterfinal contests while the No. 3/No. 6 and No. 4/No. 5 seeds will play on Thursday. The four semifinal matches tip on Friday with two title games on Saturday. Two schools will gain its first access to the event as FGCU and USC Upstate are scheduled to earn full Division I status in the Summer of 2011, completing the four-year reclassification process.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts five of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.