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Big Sky to consider change in basketball tournaments

First Published Jun 04 2014 06:10 pm • Last Updated Jun 17 2014 05:05 pm

Grand Forks, N.D. • The Big Sky Conference will review its basketball championship model and explore an alternate structure that could include a predetermined site for the postseason tournament, the league announced Wednesday.

Currently, the Big Sky’s tournaments for men’s and women’s basketball are held on the home courts of the regular season champions.

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"Over the next several months, school administrators and conference staff will diligently work to assess which format makes the most logistical and financial sense," said commissioner Doug Fullerton at the conclusion of the league’s annual meetings. "This is a major philosophical change for the conference and there are many issues to study before we take a formal proposal back to the presidents."

Any potential changes to the tournaments would not go into effect until the 2015-16 season.

"While our current format often leads to strong attendance and does a great job of protecting our top team, we also realize it has become problematic for many reasons," Fullerton said. "Our school administrators and coaches have raised valid concerns including travel costs, travel logistics, student-athlete welfare and fan experience."

The 2015 Big Sky tournaments will be held at the site of the regular-season champions March 12-14.

With the addition Idaho as a member in all sports but football, the league will have 12 men’s and women’s basketball programs, including Weber State and Southern Utah universities.

The 2015 tournaments will feature eight teams with no byes. Four quarterfinals will be played on Thursday, followed by two semifinal games on Friday and the championship game on Saturday.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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