UD Arena will now host the 2021 A-10 Men’s Basketball Championship Game. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.
The Atlantic 10 conference announced Thursday they would be moving the first four rounds of the men’s basketball tournament to March 3-6, the entirety of the women’s tournament to March 10-14, and the men’s final to Sunday, March 14 at 1 p.m. at UD Arena.
The A-10 cited COVID-19 scheduling disruptions as a major reason for this change.
“The league is implementing significant COVID-19 risk mitigation and testing protocols in preparing for both championships,” the statement said. “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.”
A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade also weighed in on the change of schedule.
“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,” McGlade said. “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.”
The seeding policy was also approved, which means that “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.”
VCU’s Siegel Center will now host the men’s first round and semifinals, and will split the second round and quarterfinals with Richmond’s Robins Center. The women’s tournament remains unchanged.