BOSTON— Binghamton University will play host to the 2008 America East Men’s Basketball Tournament at the 5,142-seat Events Center on campus in Vestal, N.Y. The decision was reached by the conference’s athletics directors.

The nine-team tournament in 2008 begins with a first-round game on Friday, March 7. Quarterfinal and semifinal games follow on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, respectively. The championship game will be played Saturday, March 15 at the home court of the higher remaining seed and will be televised by ESPN2.

““Binghamton University is delighted to have been selected to host the America East Men’s basketball tournament in 2008,” said Joel Thirer, Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics at Binghamton. “Our staff is committed to providing a first-class tournament experience to all of the players, coaches and fans, and we appreciate the show of confidence by our America East colleagues and the conference administration in electing to return to Binghamton.”

“We are looking foward to making the 2008 Championships in Binghamton our best yet,”  said Patrick Nero, commissioner, America East. “We feel that the combination of strong campus leadership and community support will allow us to build on the momentum from our previous championships in the Events Center.   Our conference saw great improvement in men’s basketball this past year and we expect that this will continue and add to the excitement of the 2008 Championship.”

The $33.1 million Events Center opened on January 31, 2004 when Binghamton hosted University of Hartford in a men’s basketball game played before a then standing-room-only crowd of 4,660. The Events Center is no stranger to the America East Men’s Basketball Championship, having played host to the event in 2005 and 2006 with an average of nearly 15,000 fans annually for the first three rounds. The America East Women’s Basketball Championship was also held at the Events Center in 2007.

The America East Championship has utilized the present format of a single site for the first rounds, with the championship game played at the higher remaining seed since 1996. Boston University hosted at Agganis Arena in 2007 and at Walter Brown Arena in 2003 and 2004. Boston University was a co-host in 2002 at Matthews Arena. The championship was played at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. from 2996 to 2001.

America East will consist of nine teams for the 2007-08 season: University at Albany, Binghamton, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.

Game times and ticket information for the America East Men’s Basketball Championship will be announced at a later date.