ITEM: The NCAA, with less than a year to go, still hasn’t decided on the site for the East Regional in 2013.
Assume that the swan song season as a Big East member is 2012-13 for Orange athletics. With the athletic department not being part of the official agenda at the upcoming spring conference meetings in Florida, it seems like a logical assumption.
With a little scheduling luck (and certainly some skill), the ‘Cuse could be playing in both their final Big East Tournament, and final NCAA Tournament as a Big East original, in Madison Square Garden.
If the NCAA and the Garden can free up the dates surrounding the March 28-31 regional schedule, that’s the first choice to bring the tournament back to “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for the first time since 1961.
Until the NCAA bought the (pre and post-season) NIT in 2005 (for $40.5 million), NCAA tournament games were purposely not scheduled for MSG as to avoid any discord and potential litigation.
Now with that conflict removed, and the building to undergo the second of three summers of renovations in June that should have enough of the amenities in place to satisfy the NCAA, the folks in Indianapolis are eyeing all the additional pizzazz that comes with truly playing in the heart of the nation’s largest market.
If scheduling can’t be worked out for The Garden, the Carrier Dome, Newark’s Prudential Center, and Brooklyn’s soon-to-debut Barclays Center are the realistic alternate choices at this late date. SU is bidding to host the 2015 East Regional, but would be happy to help the NCAA out sooner if needed by hosting the event for a seventh time (1983, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2010), although that would disqualify the Orange from playing in the regional.