Friday, June 15, 2012
3-point shot: WCC changes tournament
By Andy Katz
1. The West Coast Conference decided to change its men’s basketball tournament format when it adds Pacific in 2013-14 and becomes a 10-team league. The WCC will go to a traditional 10-team tournament with the No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 and No. 8 vs. No. 9 on the first day and then the quarterfinals on Day 2. The WCC had previously gone with a double-bye into the semifinals for the top two teams. WCC commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said the league feels it can now earn multiple bids without having to overprotect the favorites. Meanwhile, the tournament is set for the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for one more season. The WCC has to let the Orleans know by late summer if it wants to return beyond the contract. Zaninovich said the WCC is looking at a number of venues in the West Coast if it decides to change.
2. Making the Cincinnati-Xavier game about a charitable effort was a longtime coming. I understand why the game is being moved to a neutral site at U.S. Bank Arena, but in the long term the game needs to return to campus sites where it belongs. This is one neutral-site that shouldn’t be sterile. Still, the long-term survival of the series needs to be on campus, back rotating between the raucous atmospheres at Xavier and Cincinnati.
3. Pitt is still searching for a nonconference home game to replace the spot it held for the SEC-Big East Challenge before the Panthers found out last week that they were not going to be invited to the event. Pitt has to make the right choice with this game because their home schedule lacks sizzle, let alone top 25 teams. The Panthers must play a team that will be a conference champ contender rather than a team that has a name, but won’t be an NCAA tournament team and comes from a power conference.