AUGUSTA, GA. -- The Peach Belt Conference announced that the 2004 and 2005 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played at Augusta State University in Augusta, Ga. Commissioner Marvin Vanover made the announcement from the conference office, also located in Augusta. The tournament will return to the George Christenberry Fieldhouse for the first time since 1995 after ASU hosted the first four consecutive PBC Tournaments.
"I’m very glad to see the tournament return to Augusta," said commissioner Vanover. "The school and the community did an outstanding job the last time they hosted and I am sure they will try to keep that tradition alive next year. The tournament seems to get better and better each year, and I’m sure 2004 and 2005 will be the same."
The decision to move the tournament to Augusta was made by the Executive Committee of the Peach Belt Conference Board of Directors, comprised of the presidents of the league’s 12 member schools. The committee accepted Augusta State’s proposal to host the tournament after also reviewing proposals from the current host, Columbus State and Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga.
"We are very excited about hosting this event," said ASU athletic director Clint Bryant. "We have some experience hosting the tournament and we feel it is the premiere event in the league each year. I know the institution and the community will offer their support to make sure it is a success and we’re very glad its coming back here."
Both the 2004 and 2005 tournaments will feature all 12 men’s and women’s basketball teams, competing for an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The 2004 tournament is scheduled for March 2-7, while the 2005 tournament will take place from March 1-6. The tournament also hosts a competition for league pep bands, dance teams and cheerleaders as well as a student art exhibition and literary magazine.
The Peach Belt was founded in 1991 and held their first basketball tournament at Augusta State in 1992. ASU hosted the first four PBC tournaments and becomes the first conference school to repeat as a host. ASU hosted from 1992-1995, the tournament then went to Georgia College & State University in 1996 and 1997, Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah in 1998 and 1999, Lander University in Greenwood, S.C. in 2000 and 2001 and to Columbus, Ga., and Columbus State University for the 2002 and 2003 tournaments.
The 2003 Peach Belt Conference basketball tournament begins in Columbus on Tuesday, March 4. The championship games from this year’s tournament will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis by Comcast Sports South/Charter Sports South on Tuesday, March 11 at 6:00 p.m.