Friday, May 18, 2012

ACC Sets Format For 14 Team Basketball Tournament

By J.P. Giglio/Raleigh News & Observer

The ACC tournament will be two games, and one day, longer when Syracuse and Pittsburgh finally arrive from the Big East.

The conference athletic directors and basketball coaches settled on a format for the expanded, 14-team tournament as their spring meetings at Amelia Island, Fla. concluded on Wednesday.

The conference's leadership also sorted out the format for its nine-game ACC football schedule.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are expected to join the ACC for the 2013 football season and 2013-14 basketball season. The ACC tournament, for both men's and women's basketball, will include all 14 teams, commissioner John Swofford told the media on Wednesday.

The format for the tournament will expand to include two games on Wednesday, between the bottom four teams from the regular-season standings, in what amounts to two play-in games to the current, 12-team bracket.

The No. 12 and 13 seeds will play on Wednesday, with the winner moving into the first round against the No. 5 seed. The winner between the No. 11 and 14 seeds will play the No. 6 seed on Thursday. The four bottom teams will have to win five games in five days to win the tournament.

Just as in the current, 12-team format, there will still be four games on Thursday and the top four seeds will receive a bye into Friday's quarterfinals.

The football schedule will expand to nine conference games, one more than the current format, when Syracuse and Pittsburgh join the league. Syracuse will play in the Atlantic Division and Pitt will be in the Coastal Division.

In odd-numbered years, each of the seven teams in the Atlantic Division will play five ACC home games. In even-numbered years, each of the Coastal Division teams will play five ACC home games.
The expanded conference schedule eliminates one of the four nonconference games on the schedule.

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