34 basketball teams headed to Penn State Fayette for competition
The United States Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball National Championships will be held Tuesday through March 2. Competition between 34 collegiate basketball teams for four National Championship Titles will compete at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus.
The 34 teams consist of four divisions, which include eight USCAA Division I Men's Teams, 10 USCAA Division II Men's Teams, eight USCAA Division I Women's Teams, and eight USCAA Division II Women's Teams. The event features more than 850 participants among players, coaches, and tournament personnel.
This will be the fifth consecutive year the tournament will be held at Penn State Fayette.
Thirty-four schools from 14 states were represented in the 2012 tournament including: Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont.
USCAA National Basketball Championships statistics site $400,000 in estimated economic impact of the tournament for the Greater Uniontown area.
There will be 39 games played and four champions crowned. Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus is the only place ever to hold all four tournaments at one site. Gaining bids in the Men's Division I basketball bracket are Rochester College, Ave Maria University, Daemen College, Lindenwood-Belleville, Southern Virginia University, Apprentice School, Victory University, and St. Joseph's College-Brooklyn. Gaining bids in the Men's Division II bracket are NHTI, Andrews University, Berkeley College-New York, Penn State Beaver, Central Penn College, Penn State York, Vermont Tech, Albany College of Pharmacy, Warren Wilson College, and Penn State Fayette.
The women's basketball field has split into Division I and Division II this year. Gaining a bid in the Women's Division I bracket are Daemen College, Ave Maria University, Lindenwood-Belleville, Rochester College, Virginia University Lynchburg, Southern Virginia University, Robert Morris University Springfield, and University of Maine-Fort Kent. Bids for Women's Division II have been secured by Central Maine Community College, Penn State Beaver, Albany College of Pharmacy, Penn State Brandywine, Berkeley College-New York, University of Cincinnati-Clermont, University of Maine-Machias, and Penn State Fayette.
“The United States Collegiate Athletic Association is proud to bring its National Basketball Championships back to Fayette County in 2013. With outstanding support from Penn State Fayette, Fay-Penn, and local businesses, we have developed the First Annual Fayette Hoops Festival. This event will provide an outstanding community event for Fayette County residents, including a downtown parade and festival in Uniontown on Feb. 26 that will generate significant economic impact from our visitors,” said Matthew Simms, associate director and COO, USCAA.
Admission is $8 per day, however Fayette County residents receive a discounted price of $5 per day.
“We are looking forward to hosting the 34 best small college teams in the nation at Penn State Fayette. The level of play is unbelievable. I'd like to invite all area basketball fans to come out and enjoy the event and support our Roaring Lions and Lady Roaring Lions,” said Vince Capozzi, athletic director and assistant women's basketball coach at Penn State Fayette.
The men play on Wednesday at 8 p.m. and the women at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“We have a lot of local players on our teams so it would be great for them to see the local community turn out to cheer them on,” said Capozzi.
Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.