BOSTON – After 20 years of neutral site playoff games, America East women’s basketball is making a change.
The conference announced Thursday the postseason will no longer roll through a neutral venue for the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the America East Women’s Basketball Championship. Instead, the entire tournament will be at the respective home sites of the higher-seeded team hosting in each matchup.
The last two years have seen the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland host the first two rounds, and in both year, the University of Maine women’s basketball team was undefeated at the venue.
“This is an exciting time for women’s basketball in our conference,” America East commissioner Amy Huchthausen said in a statement. “While we’ve had successful single-site championships in the past, including the last two years in Portland, this format has been widely successful on the men’s side for the last four years and will afford more of our campuses the chance to experience the thrill of postseason basketball and create great atmospheres. It will also benefit our strongest teams and give them the best opportunity to advance to the NCAA tournament with the highest seed possible.”
This is identical to the format currently used in the men’s spectrum. The championship games will continue to be held at home sites of the highest seed as well.