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A-10 women’s basketball tourney comes to Wilmington

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The Atlantic 10 conference recently announced that its women’s basketball conference is moving to the Chase Fieldhouse. | PHOTO COURTESY OF BPG

WILMINGTON – The Atlantic 10 Conference announced Tuesday that its Women’s Basketball Championship will be played at Chase Fieldhouse beginning in March, marking the first time that NCAA Division I basketball will be played at the arena.

The multi-year agreement with BPG | Sports, owner-operator of the Fieldhouse, moves the 14-team championship back to a neutral site for the first time in three seasons. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The Newport News, Va.-based collegiate athletic conference includes the universities of Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, La Salle, Rhode Island, Richmond, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure, UMass, and VCU.

The 2-year-old Fieldhouse is home to the NBA G-League Delaware Blue Coats and features a 2,500-seat arena and sports complex in the Southbridge community. It’s the current anchor for the burgeoning Riverfront East redevelopment efforts and has featured Philadelphia 76ers scrimmages in the past.

“CHASE Fieldhouse provides the A-10 a tremendous opportunity to return our Women’s Basketball Championship to a neutral site after a challenging 2021 COVID year. It is a state-of-the-art arena perfectly located geographically for our women’s championship,” Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said in a statement. “Partnering with BPG | SPORTS, the city of Wilmington, the 76ers, and the NBA G League is a win-win for all.”

The A-10 Championship format includes all 14 teams playing at the host site. The 2022 championship will open with the first round on Wednesday, March 2, followed by four second-round games on Thursday, March 3. The four quarterfinal games will tip-off Friday, March 4, followed by the semifinal round on Saturday, March 5, which will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network. The finals will air live on ESPNU on Sunday, March 6.

“We are honored and beyond excited that the Atlantic 10 Conference has chosen Wilmington and The Chase Fieldhouse as home for the 2022 Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship,” BPG | SPORTS President Rob Buccini said in a statement. “Our entire community is anxious to welcome NCAA Division I basketball to Wilmington.”

The Atlantic 10 is one of only nine conferences (out of 32 leagues) where the women’s basketball championship will be played at a neutral site separate from the men’s championship. The conference has seen fairly widespread success in recent seasons, showing its parity among teams.

Eleven different teams have moved on to postseason play over the last five completed seasons. The league has also earned eight NCAA Tournament bids, including three at-large selections, and 19 WNIT bids during that time frame.

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