Friday, February 28, 2014

UMass basketball is worth the trip to Barclays

By Zachary Baru

For anyone who has been fortunate enough to see a University of Massachusetts men's basketball game this season at the Mullins Center, you know how exciting and electrifying the experience can be.  But in just over one week, tournament basketball will be a short day-trip away.

The Atlantic 10 Basketball Championships will be returning to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn beginning March 12, running through March 16 with the championship game.  The chance to see UMass show the conference why 2014 has been such a special season is one no fan should miss.

This is far from a sales pitch.  UMass fans should take advantage of the fact that the conference tournament is so close, and in one of the newest, most modern arenas in the country.

Opened in September 2012, the Barclays Center seats 17,732 for basketball.  The arena's modern amenities combined with its spectacular exterior design make the venue a must-see for sports fans.  Any game at the Barclays Center would be great to see, but being able to support our Minutemen in New York City really is a great opportunity for Western Mass. fans.

The Barclays Center sits on top of Atlantic Terminal, which is a hub for 9 subways, not to mention Long Island Rail Road as well.  This extremely accessible location is part of what makes this New York venue so appealing.  It can be reached by taking the 4 train from Grand Central Terminal, or the 2 train from Penn Station.  It's that simple.  Since parking is limited, your best bet is to either take Amtrak from Springfield, or Metro-North from New Haven, an easy hour drive south on Interstate 91.

The Atlantic 10 Basketball Championships allow local fans a unique opportunity to see a highly competitive NCAA conference tournament game, relatively close to home - not to mention seeing UMass playing in New York City.  So take the day, or make it into a weekend, and support the Minutemen as they head down to the bright lights of New York.

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at zachbaru@gmail.com.

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