The Mid-American Conference is altering or eliminating postseason tournaments in the near future as a way to combat the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The conference will eliminate tournaments in eight sports — baseball, softball, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis, women's lacrosse and field hockey — while altering the postseasons in men's basketball, women's basketball and volleyball, MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher told Toledo television station WTOL on Tuesday.
In basketball, the MAC is eliminating the first-round, which has featured seeds 5 through 12 playing on campus at the higher seed. Instead, the top eight teams from the regular season will advance directly to Cleveland.
There will also no longer be divisions in basketball, and the number of conference games will increase from 18 to 20.
The changes will take place for at least the next four years, Steinbrecher added.
"The pandemic and resulting financial issues play into that," he told the station. "As the financial situation changes, it will give us a chance to re-evaluate."