Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SoCon Looking at Options (Updated)

The Southern Conference will decide whether or not to alter the format of its men's and women's basketball tournaments at the conference meetings in Hilton Head (SC) this week.

Here's an article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Iamarino said the three major options that will be discussed before the athletic directors’ vote Friday are leaving the tournament the way it is, including every team but playing first-round games at campus sites and limiting the fields to the top eight teams.

“I do think there’s a consensus about one thing,” UTC athletic director Rick Hart said. “We’ve tried all 23 teams in one venue and it doesn’t work.”

The schedule in that case is too crowded, leading to playing six games on the second day, starting at 9 a.m. The full schedule also limits the amount of practice time teams have on the arena floor.

UPDATE: The SoCon has decided to use two venues from 2012 and beyond (next season will be played in Charlotte and 2011 in Chattanooga). This will limit future sites moving forward.
While no bids are presently on the table for 2012, among the Southeast cities with two suitable venues that could be good fits are Charleston, Birmingham, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C. For cities such as Charleston and Birmingham to host, that would likely require the use of on-campus venues, such as the College of Charleston’s new Carolina First Arena or Samford’s Pete Hanna Center.