SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — March Madness invades Springfield. Action has begun in the MAAC college basketball tournaments at the MassMutual Center.
There is a lot on the line. Winners of the men’s and women’s tournament this weekend will be invited to the NCAA tournament and there will be winners on and off the court.
The smattering of snow outside the MassMutual Center will do very little to keep hungry basketball fans from hooping it up at this weekend’s MAAC Tournaments.
Non-stop hardwood action with a berth to “March Madness” on the line
“We get to host both the men’s and women’s teams from the 10 colleges of the MAAC Conference, so it creates and environment for fans of all levels of the game. It is really great basketball and the exciting part is is that at the end of the week, we are going to have two champions that will be going to the NCAA tournament,” says Matt Hollander of the MassMutual Center.
It’s the second straight year that the MAAC tourney will be held in Springfield. Last year was so successful, the MAAC was eager for a rematch.
“It is our home away from home. We call it “MAACachusetts.” We are thrilled to be here again. We had a great time last year. We had over 6,000 fans travel from out of town. We are hoping for even more this year,” adds Ken Taylor with the MAAC.
While not a power conference, MACC basketball has been earning respect from the major conferences.
Last year, two teams earned berths in the NCAA tourney on the men’s side and the women’s teams have proven they can compete with the elite teams as well.
Taylor adds, “This year, we have had two-thirds of our games out of 90 games on the men’s side decided by less than 10 points. so there is going to be a lot of exciting games this weekend.”
And with thousands of fans pouring into downtown Springfield, local businesses will score big as well
“[The] business community definitely appreciate this event coming to town. The hotels fill up during the conference. Restaurants see a lot of pick up in business.”
Tickets are still available for all MAAC Tournament games at the MassMutual Center box office or online.