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2014 Conference USA Tournament Heading to El Paso

The 2014 Conference USA tournament will head to a familiar venue and give one member a home court advantage.

Dan Dalstra-USA TODAY Sports

The Conference USA tournament hasn't been much a tournament since the exodus of Louisville, Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, St. Louis, and Charlotte in 2005. Since then the tournament has been won by Memphis seven out of eight times and the conference bolstered a lack of neutrality by hosting the tournament in Memphis five times.

Now it seems as if the American Athletic Conference is on a quest to turn into the old Conference USA and they'll move their tournament to Memphis. So Conference USA needs a home and they have decided to head to El Paso, Texas and host the event on UTEP's campus. It will be the second time the tournament has been held at the Don Haskins Center, as the 2011 CUSA tournament was just north of the border.

The 2014 tournament will feature fifteen teams (FIU is ineligible) and will be the last go round in Conference USA for East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa who are heading for Conference USA 2.0 the AAC.

I have nothing against El Paso, but in a conference with such an incredible geographic footprint isn't there a neutral site that can foster a great environment for all teams? Also, El Paso doesn't scream March destination vacation to me either. It'll be interesting to see where the conference may move (or not move) its tournament in 2015 as it transitions to a 14 team conference featuring Charlotte, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP, Texas-San Antonio, and Western Kentucky.