By: DJ Johnson
The Mid-American Conference has announced a new format for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this upcoming season.
The reworked bracket is intended to give the top regular season teams an advantage going into tournament play.The No. 1 and 2 seeds will receive a triple bye all the way to the conference semifinals, as the No. 3 and 4 seeds will automatically be placed in the quarterfinals.
“The new format will increase the importance of each regular season game and reward teams that excel during the regular season and bring greater value to the seeds earned by the top teams,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher in a press release.
The old format gave the top four seeds a bye into the quarterfinals. The four teams who won in the first round would proceed to play the top seeded teams.
The first round of the men’s and women’s tournaments will feature the bottom eight teams in the conference. Those games will be played at home sites. The winners of the first round games will meet in the second round at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Q will host the second round games on Wednesday, March 7, followed by the quarterfinals on March 8, the semifinals on March 9 and the championship on March 10.
The reformat comes as part of the MAC’s goal to veer from the traditional tournament bracket.
“This continues the efforts of our membership to challenge the status quo,” Steinbrecher said.