The West Coast Conference has announced that they will be changing the format of their conference tournament when Pacific joins in 2013-2014, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Andy Katz.
Last season, the WCC had easily the weirdest tournament bracket in the country. Despite having just nine member programs, there were five rounds in the tournament. The No. 8 seed played the No. 9 seed for the right to advance and take on the No. 5 seed in the second round, where the No. 6 seed would play the No. 7 seed. The winners of those games would advance to the quarterfinals, where they take on the No. 3 and 4 seeds, respectively. Those winners advanced to the semifinals to play the No. 1 and 2 seeds.
That’s a bit much.
But starting in 2013-2014, the conference will go to a standard, 10 team bracket where the last four teams in the standings will take part in play-in games for the right to advance to the quarterfinals and take on the No. 1 and 2 seeds.
The reasoning is that with Gonzaga, St. Mary’s and BYU populating the top of the league, the WCC no longer needs to protect their favorites if they want to get multiple bids to the tournament. That’s true. They got three teams into the dance last season, only the second time that’s happened in conference history, and they did it without a fluke automatic bid. (UConn fans probably won’t want me to remind them about San Diego’s trip to the dance in 2008.)