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Change in MAC hoop playoffs

The chances of a team coming out of nowhere to win the MAC men's basketball tourney - as Ohio did two years ago -- have dropped precipitously. In fact, teams that finish out of the top four in the regular season will have to scale Everest to make off with the league's automatic NCAA berth.

In a format change announced today, the top two seeds regardless of division will advance straight to the semifinals. The third- and fourth-place seeds go straight to the quarters. For a men's team outside the top four to take the title it would have to win games Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Good luck.

The change received widespread support from the conference's AD's, including Warde Manuel at UB. It'll be interesting to see if it now becomes impossible to win on the road in a conference where it's been just about next to impossible.

The women will follow the same format except their first-round games will be Saturday, A big break over Monday for those that advance.

-Bob DiCesare

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