Vegas baby, VEGAS!
In the old days (read: last year), a trip to see the Buffs play in the conference tournament meant a depressing jaunt to "exciting" locales such as Kansas City or Oklahoma City (often involving a boring bus ride). With the move to the Pac-12, that destination log was greatly improved, and I jumped at the opportunity to run off to SoCal last week.
But next year's conference finale won't be in the Staples Center, and with good reason. The sparse, and largely dispassionate, crowd made it clear to everyone involved that a new venue was needed.
Enter: Vegas. With the bright lights and myriad list of distractions, Vegas makes the perfect tournament destination. Hell, the WCC, Mountain West and WAC had all come to that conclusion already, and each held their tournament in Sin City last week.
It's a great move by the league, made even better by the tournament setting at the MGM Grand Garden. The venue, which has hosted countless high-profile events over the years, is a perfect setting. On the strip, but with the comfort, size, and amenities that a power conference crowd demands.
The move is another master-stroke from El Jefe. I know I'll be making the trip to Vegas every year.
Meanwhile, the women's tournament, which was split between Staples and the beautifully appointed Galen Center, will be moving to Seattle. About the only problem I can see with that is the fighting that's sure to break out in basketball bands across the west, as band geeks struggle to get on the trip to LV over the side show in Washington. A free trip to Vegas? Damn, I was born a few years too early.