America East Changes Tournament Format Starting In 2015
For the last three years, I've spent a very special weekend in March at the America East Basketball Championships, a multi-day marathon in which contained three straight days, four games in each day, and at least 24 hours of basketball. Now that fun is being taken away from America East fans starting in 2015, as the conference has elected to go to a high seed format.
I argued that the setup of the tournament as currently constructed was perfect, and I'm 100% right about that. But thanks to the whining and complaining of writers and member institutions that felt wronged by the current format, high seeds will host every game of the tournament, and that isn't even the worst of it.
What we have here is an apparent willingness by the America East to spoon feed the league's automatic bid to the high seeds, eliminating the fun (and, thus, the entire point) of conference tournaments. At this point, the league may as well just use the Ivy League format and award an automatic bid to the regular season champion.
The irony in all of this is that Florida Gulf Coast, who demolished Georgetown on their way to a Sweet 16 berth, won their conference tournament as a lower seed at a centrally located conference tournament in the arena of another school in the tournament. I guess it's a bad thing to have more stories like that in college basketball.
It's also worth noting that each of the last two seasons have seen a lower seed win the America East men's championship game on the home floor of the higher seed, including UAlbany's win over Vermont last season. Just for posterity, here's a video of UAlbany fans storming the court of a higher seed, the exact thing the America East is trying to prevent.