Oct. 28, 2010
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Pac-10 will hold a combined men’s and women’s basketball tournament in 2011.
The conference said Thursday that all four rounds of the men’s tournament will again be played at Staples Center. The first two rounds of the women’s event will be at Galen Center on the Southern California campus before shifting to Staples for the semifinals and title game.
The combined tournament will run March 9-12. Both men’s semifinals will be played at night on March 11, leaving the women to play their semifinals during the day. The women’s title game will precede the men’s championship game on March 12.
It’s the first time in the 10-year history of the women’s tournament that it will be played at an NBA venue.
“For the women, it’s an excellent venue to showcase their talent,” said USC women’s coach Michael Cooper, who previously coached the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks in the arena.
The men’s tourney will begin March 9 with two evening games. The women open that day at Galen with two games in the afternoon and two in the evening.
On March 10, two men’s quarterfinals will be played during the day and the other two at night. The women will play their second round with a mid-afternoon game, followed by another in late afternoon.
Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said the 2010-11 season will be dedicated to John Wooden, the late UCLA coach who died in June at 99.
The men’s and women’s Pac-10 coach of the year awards will be renamed for Wooden, and his family will be honored during the tournament.
The conference is producing sportsmanship public service announcements that will share Wooden’s famous “Pyramid of Success” and air in each school’s arena during the season.