The Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game will be played at UD Arena at 1 p.m. March 14. That’s also Selection Sunday, the day the NCAA tournament bracket will be revealed.
The A-10 made the surprising announcement Thursday along with the news that the first four rounds of the men’s tournament will move from March 9-13 to March 3-6. As originally planned, those games will still take place in Richmond, Va., at Virginia Commonwealth’s Siegel Center and Richmond’s Robins Center. However, the semifinal winners on March 6 will then not play until March 14 in Dayton.
The A-10 explained the changes in a press release: “The Atlantic 10 has been impacted by COVID-19 schedule disruptions as many Division I conferences have. The league is implementing significant COVID-19 risk mitigation and testing protocols in preparing for both championships. Reordering the championship dates allowed the A-10 to reschedule a series of key matchups during the final two weeks of the regular season. Tipping the men’s championship on March 3 provides additional play dates and flexibility for the league to adjust to any unforeseen COVID-19 interruption. Beginning the women’s championship on March 10 is in response to the later start of the women’s basketball postseason schedule.”
For the Dayton Flyers, who are unlikely to climb into the top four of the standings and receive a double bye or fall into bottom four, the change means they will most likely play their first A-10 tournament game in the second round on March 4. The two first-round games will take place at the Siegel Center. The four second-round games and four quarterfinal games will be split between the Siegel Center and Robins Center. The semifinals will be played at the Siegel Center.
Along with the changes to the men’s tournament schedule, the A-10 women’s tournament will now be played a week later than planned: March 10-14. It will still be held in Richmond.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Atlantic 10 to be creative in scheduling and rescheduling throughout the regular season,” A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said. “Altering our championship dates provides additional time for our student-athletes, coaches, support staff and institutions to adjust to additional COVID-19 protocols in preparation for the A-10 championships and postseason play. I am so appreciative to our media partners who have all agreed to adjust our television windows and dates, making this concept work. I also commend the Presidents and Athletic Directors for having the foresight to make this adjustment and allow for the flexibility in the dates of each championship.”
The A-10 also revealed how it will seed the tournaments with most teams playing a different number of games because of COVID-19 postponements.
“Teams above 60 percent of the median number of conference games played by all 14 teams will be seeded by conference winning percentage,” the A-10 announced. “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.”
The men’s tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Brooklyn, N.Y. The A-10 announced in January it was moving the event to a campus site and then revealed on Jan. 26 the event would be split between two campuses in Richmond.
This will be the first time Dayton has hosted the championship game since 2003 and 2004. It beat Temple in the final at UD Arena in 2003 and lost to Xavier in the final at at UD Arena a year later. Until this year, the event had been held at neutral sites since 2007.
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