After six afterwards seasons of alone bearing one NCAA Clash team, Appointment USA is altering its scheduling architecture in an accomplishment to acreage assorted teams in the big dance.
The new scheduling architecture now appearance a alignment arrangement that pits teams in agnate continuing adjoin anniversary added for the final four amateur in appointment play.
“With the goals to beforehand agriculture and access the cardinal of teams that beforehand to the postseason, we beheld this as a abundant befalling to enhance our top teams’ resumes by accouterment them added affection amateur aural their appointment schedule,” C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod said in a columnist release. “Non-conference scheduling will abide to be a priority, but this will accommodate a real-time assay to actualize aggressive matchups for teams and their fans.”
Traditionally, anniversary aggregation in the appointment would comedy a set 18-game appointment agenda agreed afore the season. The appointment agenda would additionally abide of nine home amateur and nine alley games.
In this year’s alliance schedule, anniversary C-USA aggregation will comedy every aggregation in the alliance in accession to a brace of matchups with a “travel partner” in the aboriginal seven weeks of appointment play. That will absorb 14 amateur of the appointment schedule.
At the cessation of the seven weeks, anniversary aggregation will be assigned to a accumulation based on the C-USA standings at that time. One accumulation will accept the top 5 in the C-USA standings, the aing accumulation will accept teams 6-10, and the final accumulation will abide of teams 11-14.
The teams will comedy aural their corresponding accumulation for the final four games, and the C-USA Clash will be seeded with the top 12 teams in the appointment afterwards the accumulation period. Teams won’t be able to accomplishment aloft or beneath the appointed agriculture of its accumulation in those final bristles games.
Last season, both WKU and Middle Tennessee State had above appointment annal compared to some NCAA Clash teams, such as Texas A&M and Oklahoma. MTSU alike won the C-USA approved division title, and MTSU, Old Dominion and WKU all accomplished aural two amateur of anniversary added in the appointment standings. But Marshall, a aggregation that accomplished fourth in C-USA in the approved season, was the alone aggregation to accomplish the NCAA Clash afterwards acceptable the appointment tournament.
Head drillmaster Rick Stansbury is borderline to what admeasurement this change will accept and if it will advice added C-USA teams get into the NCAA tournament.
“You ask me at the end of the division how it works out, I could accord you a bigger feel for it,” Stansbury said. “I accept what they’re aggravating to do. Aggravating to beforehand the RPI of the top three or four teams in the league. Is that abundant to advice that additional aggregation get in? All I apperceive is that additional aggregation bigger comedy the affectionate of agenda you charge to play.”
C-USA hasn’t put assorted teams into the NCAA Clash back 2012, back Memphis, a above C-USA member, won the appointment clash and Southern Mississippi still accustomed an at-large bid.
Reporter Alec Jessie can be accomplished at 502-648-7190 and [email protected] Follow Alec on Twitter at @Alec_Jessie.
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