Below is a press release from the Atlantic 10 Conference about scheduling changes for the upcoming men’s and women’s conference basketball championships.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Atlantic 10 Conference will adjust the dates of the 2021 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships, moving the majority of the men’s championship a week earlier to March 3-6 and the entire women’s championship a week later to March 10-14. The men’s championship final, which will air on CBS Sports on Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 pm, will be hosted by the University of Dayton.
The Atlantic 10 has been impacted by COVID-19 schedule disruptions as many Division I conferences have. The league is implementing significant COVID-19 risk mitigation and testing protocols in preparing for both championships. Reordering the championship dates allowed the A-10 to reschedule a series of key matchups during the final two weeks of the regular season. Tipping the men’s championship on March 3 provides additional play dates and flexibility for the league to adjust to any unforeseen COVID-19 interruption. Beginning the women’s championship on March 10 is in response to the later start of the women’s basketball postseason schedule. The new championship dates allow for the same national television exposure through the league’s media partners, CBS Sports, CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports and ESPN.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Atlantic 10 to be creative in scheduling and rescheduling throughout the regular season. Altering our championship dates provides additional time for our student-athletes, coaches, support staff and institutions to adjust to additional COVID-19 protocols in preparation for the A-10 championships and postseason play,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “I am so appreciative to our media partners who have all agreed to adjust our television windows and dates, making this concept work. I also commend the Presidents and Athletic Directors for having the foresight to make this adjustment and allow for the flexibility in the dates of each championship.”
Richmond and VCU remain as co-hosts of the men’s championship preliminary rounds, but due to facility scheduling, the first round and semifinals will now be played at VCU’s Siegel Center. Both the Siegel Center and Richmond’s Robins Center will host second round and quarterfinal games as previously announced. The women’s championship site remains unchanged, with all games played in Richmond, Va.
Also approved is the seeding policy for both the men’s and women’s basketball for the 2021 championships. Teams above 60 percent of the median number of conference games played by all 14 teams will be seeded by conference winning percentage. Teams below that 60 percent threshold will be seeded using the NCAA NET ranking, relative to all A-10 teams. Additionally, teams below the 60 percent threshold will not be eligible for the regular season title.