With the addition of the University of the Pacific Tigers, a formatting change to the WCC tournament was eminent. The bracket, television coverage, and the scheduled date of the tournament all were subject to change in the annual summer Executive and President’s council meetings, which took place this morning.
The new WCC tournament bracket will follow the same format as the old Pac-10 tournament. The 10 and 7 seed, and the 8 and 9 seed will matchup to play two play-in games of sorts. The winners of those two games will then matchup up with the two highest seeds, and the tournament will then take on the format of a standard 8 team tournament from that point on.
In previous years, the WCC tournament always started on a Wednesday, and ended on a Monday. Now, the tournament will start on Thursday, and end on Tuesday. The 7-10 and 8-9 matchups will take place on Thursday, the quarterfinal games will take place on Saturday, the semifinal games will take place on Monday, and championship game will be held on Tuesday. The Women’s games will take place on the same days of the men’s, except their quarterfinal games will be held on Friday instead of Saturday.
The national television coverage of the tournament is going to be revamped as well. For the first time ever, two of the four quarterfinal games will be nationally televised on the ESPN Network. Those two games will both be televised on ESPN2. One semifinal game will be televised on the main ESPN network, while the other will be televised on ESPN. The final, of course, will be played on ESPN, like always.
These changes can be perceived as anything but bad. The increased exposure is an awesome thing for the conference as a whole, which appears to be one of the up and coming conferences in the nation. The delayed start time is something that many people have been pushing for a while. Time and time again, the team that wins the WCC tournament looks extremely rusty in the NCAA tournament, since the gap between the conclusion of the WCC tournament and the start of the NCAA tournament is much larger than some of the other conference tournaments. This issue is not completely resolved just yet, but the conference is taking steps in the right direction. Ideally, the tournament would end on selection Sunday, but the closer to the NCAA tournament the better.
For more information, check out the WCC’s press release
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