America East has the right idea. So does the Atlantic Sun. Those two mid-major conferences, among others, dismiss a centralized postseason basketball tournament. Instead, they play on campus sites, with the higher seeds granted the home-court advantage. The ultimate survivor goes to the NCAAs.
The setup makes for easy fan access and places a premium on the regular season. Perfect.
It’s such a common-sense idea that one wonders why other mid-major conferences populated by smaller schools don’t do likewise. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, home to Canisius and Niagara, insists on a centralized tournament and this decade has hopped from Bridgeport, Conn. (huh?), to Springfield, Mass. (what?) to Albany.
The MAAC’s newest postseason digs are wonderful for Albany-based Siena, which has won the tournament four of the last six times it has hosted. It’s awful for everyone else.
Having schools travel a couple hundred miles to play the most meaningful games before the smallest crowds of the year? Now that’s madness.