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Mid-American Conference announces new post-season tournament format

The Mid-American Conference Tournament has a new way of operating.

The conference announced the new format last Thursday, and it’s effective for both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

It will have the top two seeds receiving byes to the semifinals of the tournament, while the third and fourth seeds will receive byes to the quarterfinals.

“This continues the efforts of our membership to challenge the status quo,” said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher in a statement released by the conference. “The new format will increase the importance of each regular season game and reward teams that excel during the regular season and bring greater value to the seeds earned by the top teams.”

Opening round games of the men’s MAC Tournament will be held at campus sites beginning March 5, featuring the No. 5 to 12 seeds in the tournament. The women’s tournament will begin March 3 and have the same arrangements.

“Changing the tournament bracket falls in line with our philosophical approach to each of the MAC Championships,” said Greg Christopher, director of Athletics and chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, in the statement. “Our tournaments and championships are about preparing our best teams for postseason.

“With that in mind, it makes sense to give our top teams byes and better-position their paths to the championship.”

With the new format, seeds 5 to 12 would play with each other until two teams are left from that pool. Those two teams would then play seeds 3 and 4, with the winner of those games playing the top two seeds.

In past years, the top four seeds would have byes to the quarterfinals, and the four teams who won in the first round would play against one of the four teams who had a bye.

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