Big East ponders format for 17-team tournament
Greetings from the Big East meetings in Ponte Vedra, where one of the challenges is deciding on a tournament format for basketball when TCU gives the league a rare 17-team lineup for (at least) the 2012-13 season.
Three formats are being considered -- the simplest would have all 17 teams in New York City, with the eighth through 17th teams playing as part of a five-game opening day, then the fifth through seventh seeds joining those five winners on the second day, then the tournament following its current format for the final three days.
The other options? The Big East could go back to its 12-team format, where not all the league's teams get to play in New York, though that was reversed before so it's unlikely to return. The other possibility would have the league's 16th and 17th seeds playing on campus as a play-in game before the current format begins at Madison Square Gardens.
The league also must decide a format for the regular-season schedule -- the likely format there is to simply go from three "mirror" home-and-home opponents to two of those, maintaining the 18-game model.