By Rick Dayton

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For the first time since 1982, the Atlantic 10 is bringing its men’s basketball tournament back to Pittsburgh.

The A10 is now 14 schools, stretching from Massachusetts to St. Louis. The coaches and the conference commissioner can’t wait to get here.

In March, it won’t be hockey talk at PPG Paints Arena.

“It’s a first class venue. It’s internationally a world class venue and that’s where these young student athletes want to play, A10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said.

And Pittsburgh will welcome a native son home. Conference power Dayton is coached by Blackhawk’s Archie Miller.

“Pittsburgh is just a great sports town. I mean, it really is. People are going to be very hospitable to everyone that is in town. There is going to be a lot of action around and I think there will be great attendance at the games as well,” Miller said.

The success of teams wearing black and gold is not lost on the coaches who will lead their teams to Pittsburgh.

“There’s a sense of intimacy about this city that welcomes competition, that welcomes high level performances. It’s evident in the pro sports that we have here,” Davidson University head coach Bob McKillop said.

“I think it is great for the city. I think it is great for our league because the league is really going to see what Pittsburgh fans are all about — and obviously for us to have it at home very much like Fordham has had it at home the past couple of years, but this league is so tough, you have to finish it on the court,” Duquesne head coach Jim Ferry said.

“We are a conference with national relevance, and we need to be in big markets. All of our schools, we are in 33 percent of the media markets in America, so to be where our fans are, to be where the demographics of the basketball sports fans are, that’s really important to the A10,” McGlade said.

During the five-day run here in Pittsburgh there will be special events for first responders, and then on Thursday, a special kids day as school children from around Pittsburgh will have an opportunity to attend the games.

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