If we've learned one thing since the beginning of this season, it's that nothing is set in stone. This couldn't be more accurate when talking about the Atlantic 10. Between, postponements, pauses, and cancellations, we should all be very thankful for the great basketball we've gotten so far.
Here's a recap of a huge headline we learned last night, producing what could be a very interesting Conference Championship.
Atlantic 10 Tournament Moved Up a Week, Restructured
The biggest news to come out the conference this week came not from the court, but from the Atlantic 10 front office. The Conference announced a restructuring of this year's men's and women's basketball championships, albeit with a weird new format. For the men, the bulk of the tournament will be held a week earlier, from March 3-6, in Richmond. However, the final will be held on it's original date in Dayton. Overall, I think this is a smart move. Considering the entire NCAA Tournament will be held this year in Indianapolis, playing the final in Dayton will reduce travel for the future Atlantic 10 champ.
The seeding of the tournament is where things get a little funky. Considering the amount of games played varies wildly from team to team in the conference, the Atlantic 10 has devised a new seeding procedure for this season. Before I break it down, here is the Conference's explanation on how seeding will work;
"Teams above 60 percent of the median number of conference games played by all 14 teams will be seeded by conference winning percentage. Teams below that 60 percent threshold will be seeded using the NCAA NET ranking, relative to all A-10 teams. Additionally, teams below the 60 percent threshold will not be eligible for the regular season title."
So basically, if you didn't play enough conference games (currently at around 7), you will be seeded according to how your NCAA NET ranking stands against other teams in the conference. This allows a team like Saint Louis, who has only played 6 conference games so far, to gain a higher seed based on how good of a team they actually are. Additionally, new seeding will create two byes for several teams in the conference.