By Zachary Baru
UNCASVILLE - For most basketball tournaments, it is simple: you enter the arena, watch the game, hope you get on the video board, or take part in a contest. But that is it. It is completely confined to the venue itself - all about basketball, and usually like any other tournament.
From being at the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament these last two days, the division 1 basketball is just part of the experience. The location, as any event, is a major factor in the enjoyment for the common fan.
This is why the Mohegan Sun Arena is a fitting choice for the tournament, and why Mohegan Sun provides more than just an arena for the games.
Sitting in the arena watching the games has been very enjoyable. There has been amazing plays, close games, overtime, a buzzer-beater, you name it. But its before and after the games that has also been enjoyable, something many other basketball venues just cannot provide.
For the fans, players, players' families, coaches and all of the media, Mohegan Sun gives those involved plenty of hospitality, and entertainment as well.
The 1,200-room luxury hotel is just steps away from the arena, giving teams, media and fans a convenient and quality place to stay. Additionally, the resort offers a spa, restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping and entertainment such as the free Wolf Den and a comedy club.
Notice how one thing was not included in all of those options - that of course, was gaming. Illustrating just how much there is to do in the resort.
This weekend has been, well, there's really no other way to put it... really fun. It is what makes the Tip-Off Tournament special, and enjoyable for all fans. It's more than the basketball, it's more than the venue, it's a good combination of both, making the Tip-Off Tournament a must-see for any basketball fan.
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Zach also writes for Sports Business Boston.