ACC to include all 14 teams in expanded basketball tournament

jgiglio@newsobserver.com May 16, 2012 

The ACC tournament will be two games, and one day, longer when Syracuse and Pittsburgh finally arrive from the Big East.

The conference athletic directors and basketball coaches settled on a format for the expanded, 14-team tournament as their spring meetings at Amelia Island, Fla., concluded Wednesday.

The conference’s leadership also sorted out the format for its nine-game ACC football schedule.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are expected to join the ACC for the 2013 football season and the 2013-14 basketball season. The ACC tournament, for both men’s and women’s basketball, will include all 14 teams, commissioner John Swofford told the media on Wednesday.

The format for the tournament will expand to include two games on Wednesday, between the bottom four teams from the regular-season standings, in what amounts to two play-in games to the current, 12-team bracket.

The No. 12 and 13 seeds will play on Wednesday, with the winner moving into the first round against the No. 5 seed. The winner between the No. 11 and 14 seeds will play the No. 6 seed on Thursday. There will still be four games on Thursday.

Just as in the current, 12-team format, the top four seeds will receive a bye into Friday’s quarterfinals.

The football schedule will expand to nine conference games, one more than the current format, when Syracuse and Pittsburgh join the league. Syracuse will play in the Atlantic Division and Pitt will be in the Coastal Division.

In odd-numbered years, each of the seven teams in the Atlantic Division will play five ACC home games, compared to four for the Coastal Division. In even-numbered years, each of the Coastal Division teams will play five ACC home games, with four for the Atlantic.

The expanded conference schedule eliminates one of the four nonconference games on the schedule.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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