CLEVELAND- The Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Quicken Loans Arena announced today a six-year contract extension to host the FirstEnergy MAC Men's and Women's Basketball Conference Tournament through 2017 at The Q. The contract extension guarantees the continuation of the conference tournament at the same neutral site since 2000.

The 2011 FirstEnergy MAC Basketball Tournament will be March 9-12, 2011. Eight men's and women's teams will advance to the quarterfinal rounds (Women on March 9; Men on March 10) in Cleveland and the format will continue with the semifinals (Women and Men on March 11) and championship games (Women and Men on March 12). The FirstEnergy MAC Tournament will continue with the current format for both men's and women's tournaments with opening round games on campus sites for teams seeded 5-12.

"The Mid-American Conference is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with Quicken Loans Arena and the Cleveland Cavaliers for our First Energy Men's and Women's Basketball Conference Tournament," said MAC Commissioner, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher. "This partnership provides our student-athletes and our fans the finest basketball facility in the country for our conference basketball tournament. The entire Quicken Loans Arena and Cavaliers staff have been extremely supportive to ensure our membership and student-athletes receive a positive experience in Cleveland."

The FirstEnergy MAC Tournament will also continue to feature the MAC FanFest presented by PNC at Tower City Center. Throughout the entire tournament, the MAC FanFest presented by PNC is free and open to the public to allow MAC fans the opportunity to meet coaches, student-athletes, cheerleaders and school bands from their favorite MAC school and participate in activities including: free throw contests, dunk contests, corn hole contest, tattoo booth, Cavs inflatable's and much more.

"On behalf of the Cavaliers, Quicken Loans Arena and the City of Cleveland, we look forward to our extended relationship with the MAC and are very excited to provide a first-class tournament experience and ‘MAC Madness' for NCAA basketball fans and the participating teams for years to come," said Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena President, Len Komoroski.

Last year for the men's tournament, Ohio University entered the tournament as the number nine seed and defeated Ball State, 85-77 in overtime, in Muncie, Ind. in the opening round. The Bobcats earned a convincing 81-64 win over number one seed Kent State in the quarterfinal round and defeated Miami, 54-42, in the semifinal round. In the Championship Game on March 13, Ohio defeated Akron, 81-75 in overtime in front of 9,533 as the Bobcats earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

In 2010 for the women's tournament, Bowling Green entered the tournament as the number one seed and earned a bye in the opening campus round. The Falcons defeated Miami, 91-58, in the quarterfinal round and proceeded to defeat Akron, 81-49, in the semifinal round. Bowling Green earned the title as MAC Champion with a 62-53 victory over Toledo on March 13 in front of a crowd of 3,674 at Quicken Loans Arena. The Falcons earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

The FirstEnergy MAC Men's and Women's Tournament for both men and women will be televised on SportsTime Ohio Thursday through Saturday, March 10-12, with the Men's Championship Game televised nationally on ESPN2 on Saturday, March 12. All men's games, along with the women's semifinals and championship game will also be broadcast on WKNR ESPN Cleveland 850 AM.