The Atlantic 10 Conference continues its proactive approach to managing its postseason men’s basketball championship by moving most of the tournament from March 3-6 to multiple venues in Richmond, Virginia, essentially reversing tournament dates. male and female to help alleviate concerns about COVID-19 disruptions at their respective national championships.
A source close to the league told Sporting News that the Men’s A-10 Championship will now begin on a Wednesday that had previously been held open for a possible rescheduling of games lost due to COVID disruptions. The semi-finals will take place this Saturday.
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The matches will be played at VCU’s Siegel Center and the Robins Center, where the University of Richmond plays. The league had previously announced that it was moving the men’s tournament to these two venues from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which helped reduce the intersection between competing schools.
The two semi-final winners will advance to the championship game on Sunday, March 14, allowing the A-10 to keep their television obligation to CBS intact this afternoon. The championship game will be held in Dayton, Ohio, just a two-hour bus ride to Indianapolis, where at least the league’s automatic qualifier will take place for the NCAA tournament. NCAA tournament participants must produce seven consecutive days of negative COVID-19 tests to enter the “controlled environment” in Indianapolis; this will allow the A-10 tournament contestants to be inactive most of these days.
The women’s tournament will now run from March 10-14, with the Richmond venue unchanged.
Because the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship does not begin until March 21, three days after the men’s tournament, the 10 Atlantic teams that qualify will have at least seven days between the end of the conference tournament competition. and the start of the NCAAs.
Several of the top 10 Atlantic men’s basketball teams this season have been affected by COVID disruptions. Saint Louis, 11-3 and ranked 35th by KenPom.com, has only played six conference games. Saint-Bonaventure managed to play 11 conference games, but only had two non-league games and rank 10-3.