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The SEC yesterday formally announced that Bridgestone Arena will host 12 consecutive SEC basketball tournaments -- a mix of men's and women's events -- beginning in '15, and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the conference has a "significant comfort zone with Nashville," according to David Climer of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Slive added, "It's a great fit for our fans." The new agreement includes "nine men's and three women's" conference tournaments. By the time the contract expires, Nashville "will have played host to the SEC Tournament -- either men's or women's -- 21 out of 26 years," dating back to '01. Just as Atlanta has "became the home of the SEC Championship Game in football, Music City is now the conference's hoops headquarters." Climer writes Slive "identified Nashville as the ideal anchor for SEC tournaments and set the mechanism in motion to get it done." Slive: "With the football championship game in Atlanta, we have found that fans get comfortable with where to go, how to get there, where to stay and all those things" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/16). ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy reported St. Louis and Tampa likely "will split" the '18 and '22 men's tournaments, while the Georgia Dome "already had been awarded" the '14 event. Slive said that the reason the SEC was looking for a primary home for its men's basketball tournament is "because of the success of the league's permanent sites in football and baseball" (ESPN.com, 10/15).
ALL A DREAM ABOUT TENNESSEE: In Memphis, Kyle Veazey writes, "I don't know to what degree Memphis interests were pursuing the SEC in this most recent run; I suspect the league has had its focus on Nashville and only Nashville for quite some time." Because FedExForum was not selected for the SEC tourney, it "keeps the building open for future American Athletic Conference tournaments." But SEC tournaments "would surely mean more to Downtown and more to the local economy than any future AAC tournaments" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/16).
Stats LLC has struck a one-year deal with Duke Univ. to install its SportVU motion tracking system at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Krzyzewski Center for use by the men's basketball program. The deal marks the first deployment of SportVU analytics in the collegiate ranks after an initial entry in pro basketball and the recent agreement between Stats and the NBA to use the technology leaguewide. Like the NBA deal, Duke will use SportVU to create a wide range of advanced, location and speed-based statistics, including ball possession data, shot arc, and floor spacing efficiency. Duke will also use SportVU in its practices, something NBA teams have not yet done. As its NBA business for SportVU has advanced, Stats for some time has targeted college basketball as an additional growth avenue. "The college ranks obviously are taking a lot of cues from the pros and have seen the kind of success that's been achieved with SportVU already," said Stats Senior VP/Sports Solutions Brian Kopp. "So we see a lot of opportunity in colleges, certainly in the NBA arenas where colleges also play where we already have the camera systems installed." Financial terms were not disclosed for the deal, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. However, sources said the agreement is worth somewhat less than the roughly $100,000 per year NBA teams had been paying individually for SportVU prior to last month's completion of the leaguewide deal. The Duke deal was fueled in part by Charlie Rohlf, a developer at Stats that was a student manager for the basketball program as an undergraduate and has maintained close ties with the school.