The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference has agreed in principle with Hartman Arena to host the KCAC basketball tournament men's and women's championship games this season.
Hartman general manager John Blazek and KCAC commissioner Scott Crawford confirmed an agreement was in place on Monday, and both parties were moving ahead with plans for a news conference next Wednesday at Hartman to formally announce the deal.
"It's a great move for the league, and the KCAC has a great commissioner in charge of it that helped put this together," Blazek said. "We've got a world-class court that was used in the NCAA Tournament, and it's going to be great for the league and for the fans."
The tentative date for the championship games is Monday, Feb. 28, with the men's championship game followed by the women's championship game.
"It's a great deal for the KCAC, for sure," Crawford said. "We've been talking a long time about getting a signature event for our conference, and this is it. For the schools, for the fans... this is going to be a big deal."
Hartman hosts the Class 6A and Class 5A state wrestling tournaments on Feb. 25-26, and any complications from that could push the KCAC title games to Tuesday, March 1.
Another motivation for moving the title games, according to Crawford, was to find a neutral venue that could better prepare KCAC teams for the NAIA national tournament.
"We looked at a lot of different spots trying to find the right fit for our league," Crawford said. "Hartman is that facility."
Butler No. 2, Hutchinson No. 5 in final NJCAA poll — Butler Community College dropped just one spot to No. 2 in the final NJCAA poll released Monday. The Grizzlies finished the season 11-1 and lost to Navarro (Texas) 12-12 in the national title game on Sunday in Pittsburg. Hutchinson jumped five spots to No. 5 after defeating No. 17 Eastern Arizona 42-21 on Saturday in the Salt City Bowl. It was the first time the Blue Dragons, who finished with a 10-2 record, have been ranked in the top 10 in the final poll since 1995.