America East Makes Playoff Changes
The America East Conference has made two major announcements pertaining to the 2017-18 sports seasons. America East recently conducted its annual meeting which was held in Savannah, Georgia.
Beginning with the upcoming 2017-18 men's basketball season the conference will eliminate the first-round playoff game with the number eight seed meeting the number nine seed. Referred to by many as "the play-in game" that game determined who would qualify for the quarterfinal's last spot. The winner of that game would then face the number one seed. Moving forward teams one through eight qualify for the conference tournament . This becomes important since UMass Lowell becomes eligible for post-season play in 2017-18 after moving from Division II. That means all nine conference teams could be eligible for the conference playoffs. Under this rule only the top eight qualify.
According to a press release issued by America East the men's basketball regular season will end on Wednesday, February 28. Playoffs begin on Saturday, March 3 with the top four seeds holding home advantage. Then, the semifinals will be played on Tuesday, March 6 at the home of the higher remaining seeds. The championship is set for Saturday, March 10 on the home court of the higher seed. That winner goes on to the NCAA Tournament.
The other major announcement concerns the America East Championship Baseball Tournament. The University of Maine has been selected to host the tournament for the upcoming season. The tournament will run from May 23 -26 . Maine's stadium is artificial turf and seats 4,400. Six teams will qualify to compete for the tournament title.