More news about changes to the Pac-10 women’s basketball tournament is coming out. And they are more changes for the good.
San Francisco Chronicle photo/Michael Maloney
As part of a press release to announce their schedule for the year, Oregon gave us all a sneak peak of the new tournament format. And it consists of significant differences than from previous seasons.
The top two seeds in the tournament field will receive byes into the semifinal round, and will have to play two games to win a title instead of three in previous years.
The tournament will begin on Wednesday March 9 at the Galen Center and the 3-10 seeds will open play that day.
The winners will move on to the quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon at the Galen Center and those winners will move on to face the top two seeds in the semifinals at the Staples Center on Friday.
The championship game, which has been played on Mondays and Sundays in previous seasons, will be played on Saturday, March 12 at 11:30 a.m. as a lead-in to the men’s championship game.
Having covered every Pac-10 tournament since its inception, I’ve never been a fan of the format. The 7-10 “play-in” games on the first night were played in front of sparse crowds.
And the top teams, who earned their seeds through a bruising regular-season schedule, still had to play three games in three days to win a title, risking injury and fatigue on the verge of the NCAA Tournament. The Pac-10 winner usually got little benefit from winning the tournament and the risks were huge, between injuries or an early loss that would be very damaging in front of the NCAA seeding committee.
This is an improvement. Whether it’s the final answer, who knows?
Wednesday, March 9 (First Round, Galen Center)
Game 1: Seed #3 vs. Seed #10, 12 p.m. PT
Game 2: Seed #4 vs. Seed #9, 2:15 p.m. PT
Game 3: Seed #5 vs. Seed #8, 5 p.m. PT
Game 4: Seed #6 vs. Seed #7, 7:15 p.m. PT
Thursday, March 10 (Quarterfinals, Galen Center)
Game 5: Winner 3/10 vs. Winner 6/7, 3 p.m. PT
Game 6: Winner 5/8 vs. Winner 4/9, 5:15 p.m. PT
Friday, March 11 (Semifinals, Staples Center)
Game 7: Seed #1 vs. Game 6 winner, 12 p.m. PT
Game 8: Seed #2 vs. Game 5 winner, 2:30 p.m. PT
Saturday, March 12 (Championship, Staples Center)
Game 9: Championship Game, 11:30 a.m. PT