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MAAC Revises Basketball Tournament Format for 2016

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The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and its member schools have agreed to a change in its annual Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship bracket format that will provide the top two seeds a day off between their quarterfinal games and semifinal matchups if the seeds hold during the tourney.  The Times Union Center management has agreed to the changes and the new format will be utilized during the 2016 championships in Albany, NY on March 2-7.

 

The MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration began working with the league’s men’s and women’s basketball coaches in a series of meetings that began on May 18th with a combined sport committees meeting at the conference office in Edison, NJ.   At the annual league meetings in Orlando on June 12, the league then approved a basketball championships format change effective immediately in 2016 that is designed to award the top two seeds for their regular season success by providing a day off between their quarterfinal game and their semifinal matchup.

 

“The vote for the revised format was 9-1-1, with Manhattan opposed and Quinnipiac abstaining,” notes Rich Ensor MAAC Commissioner.  “The format change has been accepted by the Times Union Center (Albany, NY) which is hosting the 2016 & 2017 championships under a current three-year contract.”

 

The revised format applies to both the men’s and women’s championships is as follows:

 

Thursday:

 

Session I: Women’s Opening Round

9:30am #8 Seed vs. #9 Seed

11:30am #7 Seed vs. # 10 Seed

1:30pm #6 Seed vs. #11 Seed

 

Session II: Men’s Opening Round

5:00pm #8 Seed vs. #9 Seed

7:00pm #7 Seed vs. #10 Seed

9:00pm #6 Seed vs. #11 Seed

 

Friday:

 

Session III: Women’s Quarterfinals

12:00pm #1 Seed vs. 8/9 Winner

2:30pm #2 Seed vs. 7/10 Seed

 

Session IV: Men’s Quarterfinals

7:00pm #1 Seed vs. 8/9 Winner

9:30pm #2 Seed vs. 7/10 Seed

 

Saturday:

 

Session V: Women’s Quarterfinals

12:00pm #3 Seed vs. 6/11 Winner

2:30pm #4 Seed vs. #5 Winner

 

Session VI: Men’s Quarterfinals

7:00pm #3 Seed vs. 6/11 Winner

9:30pm #4 Seed vs. #5 Winner

 

Sunday:

 

Session VI: Women’s Semifinals

11:00am 1/8/9 vs. 4/5 winner

1:30pm 2/7/10 vs. 3/6/11 winner

 

Session VII: Men’s Semifinals

4:30pm 1/8/9 vs. 4/5 winner

7:00pm 2/7/10 vs. 3/6/11 winner

 

Monday:

 

Session VIII: Women’s Championship TBD Semifinal Winners

 

Session IX: Men’s Championship TBD Semifinal Winners

 

“The efforts of the administrators and coaches to adjust the format to provide an advantage to the top two seeds was prompted by a general recognition by the MAAC membership that not enough reward was being assessed to regular season success by the previous format,” continued Ensor. “There was a vigorous league debate about various format options and within the coaches groups some sentiment that a format that had the championship contested over four consecutive days would be optimum.  Ultimately, it was decided by the member schools that the 22-team format of the combined championships did not lend itself to such a resolution if reasonable game times and recovery periods were to be provided to the advancing teams.”

 

“The championship format has been adjusted any number of times during the league’s 34 years of competition, sometimes a result of membership realignment or efforts to meet attendance or other criteria,” continued Ensor.  “When the tournament was first hosted in Albany, the schedule would be adjusted so that the home team would be provided a prime time tipoff time each session.  Later on this was determined to be unfair, and a tourney schedule based on seed was implemented.  I also recall the infamous double-bye system that had the top seed automatically placed in the semifinals.  The MAAC has also conducted neutral site tournaments, most recently in Springfield, MA, but also at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey in the early years of the league.  All were well intentioned changes, which reflected the thinking of the MAAC membership at a particular moment in time.  The newly agreed upon format is similar in nature, designed to protect the top seeds to some degree, reward in-season play, and may have the added benefit of increased attendance from two nights of prime time men’s basketball on Friday and Saturday.”

 

The members of the men’s and women’s basketball sport committees included: Siena Director of Athletics, John D’ Argenio and Marist Director of Athletics, Tim Murray as committee chairs; Fairfield Senior Associate Athletic Director, Alison Sexton, Monmouth’s Associate Athletic Director, Rachelle Paul and Men’s Basketball Head Coach, King Rice; Niagara Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Kendra Faustin; Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Tricia Fabbri; Rider’s Associate Athletic Director, Karin Torchia and Assistant Athletic Director, Brian Keane; and Saint Peter’s Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Dunne.

 

 

 

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