Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Benson from Tuesday's WAC call

Probably the most intriguing piece to Tuesday's WAC call, regarding this year's WAC Tournament.

WAC Commissioner Karl Benson announced that the 2011-12 WAC Tournament will revert back to a traditional format after the loss of Boise State.
Last year’s tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas was the first time the tournament rewarded the top-two seeds with a bye into the semifinal round.
“It’s in the best interest to revert to a traditional 8-team bracket with four quarterfinal games,” Benson said. “This will be a one-year consideration and will re-evaluate it when we become a 10-team league (in 2012-13).”
Benson said the women’s quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday and the men’s quarterfinals will be played on Thursday.
Benson said he hopes to determine the site for the 2012-13 tournament sometime before this year’s tournament.
Obviously, the WAC wants to remain in Las Vegas.
Last year’s format certainly affected attendance at the Orleans Arena. The arena was virtually empty until the Utah State fanbase arrived for the semifinals.
The format change rewarded teams for a good regular season. 
“We made the decision to go to Las Vegas the year previous to accommodate the long time wishes of coaches (for a neutral site),” Benson said. “A year later, coaches came back with a new format. At the time, I wish I could have said that you can’t have both. It was a lesson learned. Going back to this format gives us the best possible chance to make Las Vegas successful so we can return to the site.”

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