America East determines basketball tournament format – Times Union

More than a month into its regular-season schedule, the America East has determined a format for its postseason basketball tournament.

Under the revised plan, first reported by Matt Norlander of CBS Sports, all 10 teams will qualify for the men’s and women’s tournaments, provided that they have played at least 12 Division I games by the end of the regular season.

The tournament will be divided into a “playoff pods” phase and “championship week” event. The top two teams will earn byes into championship week, which will consist of the semfinals and finals. The women’s final will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, March 12, and televised by ESPNU. The men’s final is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13, to be aired on ESPN2.

The third- and fourth-place teams for men and women will play host to a playoff pod, each consisting of four teams. The pod winners will fill out the field for championship week, which will be held at a predetermined site. There will be separate championship-week venues for men and women.

“I give the conference a lot of credit,” University at Albany coach Will Brown said. “I’m sure they went through a bunch of different scenarios, and I’m sure they have a Plan B, C and D in case there’s an issue with the original plan. They feel this is the best plan moving forward, and I’m hoping all 10 teams have an opportunity to take part in the tournament.”

Geographic proximity will be considered when filling out the pods. Teams will not move more than one seed line when filling out the bracket, the conference said in its news release.

“While our playoff format has been a great success the last several years, this year calls for something different,” America East commissioner Amy Huchthausen said in the release, “and these measures will best position our teams from a health and safety perspective. It’s critical that we balance the competitive aspects of championship planning while ensuring our teams can participate in a safe manner. We believe this approach will position us well in that regard while giving us flexibility if adaptation is necessary.”

Dates and times will be determined and announced later in the season.

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