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After two years away, the MHSAA girls basketball finals could return to MSU’s Breslin Center as soon as this winter

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, September 30, 2019, 4:21 pm

After two seasons away, it appears the MHSAA girls basketball finals will be back at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center, as soon as this winter.

The MHSAA announced Monday that it had signed a three-year contract with MSU to have the girls finals — held at Breslin from 2004-06 and 2010-17 — back in its old venue. 

Because of the possibility of conflicts with MSU potentially hosting NCAA Tournament games on the same weekend as the girls finals — a dilemma that sent the finals to Calvin College’s VanNoord Arena for 2017 and 2018 — there will be contingency plans in place for alternative sites.

If Breslin can’t host the event this season, it will switch to Hope College’s DeVos Fieldhouse. If the MSU women need their home floor for NCAA games in 2021 or beyond, the girls semifinals and finals will move to Western Michigan’s Read Fieldhouse.

“We are thankful for the graciousness of all parties involved to allow for this opportunity to bring the girls basketball semifinals and finals back to the Breslin Center,” MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl said in a news release. “From the Breslin Center staff, to coach Suzy Merchant and the MSU women’s basketball program, to MSU law enforcement, ticketing and hospitality and then Western Michigan and Hope College and their facilities people for agreeing to reserve their arenas for us in case it’s needed — this agreement happens only because of the immense cooperation by everyone involved.”

Read Fieldhouse hosted the MHSAA girls basketball finals from 1982-85, and the volleyball finals from 1996-2007.

This season’s semifinals and finals will be held March 19-20. The NCAA women’s tournament bracket is set to be a announced on Monday, March 16.

The MHSAA boys basketball semifinals and finals — which don’t conflict with NCAA Tournament games — will still be held March 26-28.