Colonial Athletic Association moves Men’s Basketball Championship

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NCAA basketball (Photo: Anthony Langley / US Army / CC BY 2.0)

RICHMOND,VA (Release)–The Colonial Athletic Association has announced that the 2021 Hercules Tires CAA Men’s Basketball Championship will be conducted at the Atlantic Union Bank Center on the campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

The dates of the tournament, March 6-9, 2021, will remain the same and all 10 teams are slated to participate.

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“In conjunction with our institution’s medical professionals, Presidents and Athletic Directors, we are continuing to make decisions that provide our student-athletes with the safest means to participate in intercollegiate athletics during a very challenging period of time,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “On behalf of the entire CAA membership, I would like to thank JMU President Jon Alger and Athletic Director Jeff Bourne for allowing this event to be held on their campus. We look forward to working with the staff at JMU to provide our men’s basketball student-athletes an exceptional championship experience.”

The conference was scheduled to hold the 2021 championship at the Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) in Washington, D.C. for the second consecutive year. Due to the CoVID-19 pandemic, moving the tournament to a member institution’s campus was in the best interest of CAA student-athletes, coaches and staff. The conference plans to return to the ESA in 2022, should health conditions improve.

The Atlantic Union Bank Center, which opened in November, 2020, is a state-of-the-art 8,500-seat facility that features a club area, practice court, meeting rooms and sports medicine areas. The building has the latest in lighting and audio technology and includes an adjacent 1,500-space parking deck.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the conference office and university presidents in hosting the 2021 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship at the new Atlantic Union Bank Center,” JMU Director of Athletics Jeff Bourne said.  “We’re looking forward to providing the league’s student-athletes with an outstanding experience in our first-class facility as we bring one of the CAA’s premier events to Harrisonburg. This season has been unique in nearly every way and I can’t thank our athletics staff enough for adapting to constant changes and doing so in seamless fashion. We are prepared and excited to play a significant part in the road to NCAA March Madness this spring.”

The CAA Men’s Basketball Championship has been one of the most competitive in the nation, with eight different schools having claimed the title over the past decade. During that period, two championship games have gone to overtime and three others have been decided by five points or less.

This will be the first time since 1986 that the CAA has crowned its men’s basketball champion at an on-campus facility.