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2015 America East Tournament


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I preferred the unified tournament. I liked to watch the games and meet some of the other fans each year. I was able to go to the sites regardless of location. It's nice for the top seeds, but if you aren't one, as we weren't the last 2 years, we'd have to do a lot of traveling to watch our team.

 

I'm with you. I went to all the tournaments since we joined America East and they were fun. The tourneys in Boston were the most fun even though we were horrible back then. I liked that you had all the teams, coaches, fans staying in one place. We'd walk into the bar after dinner and run into Vermont's coaching staff.

 

 

People say this format is best for the conference and the teams in the conference. There were a number of teams who would never be allowed to host the tourney, such as UNH, Maine, UMBC and UVM, and this gives them the opportunity to host a game or two if they deserve it. Also supposed to help attendance at most games and send "the best" team (think they mean highest seed) to the tourney. If that is the case then just send the regular season winner like the ivy league.

 

My biggest problem is it totally screws the non-local fan. For many years, I've made a trip out of this. Got a bunch of friends together and headed to the tourney for a great and fun weekend of basketball. It had become an annual event. Friends who forgot the format was changed have asked when and where we were going for the tourney this year. It totally and absolutely SUCKS for people like me. Actually good for most on this board who live in Albany because you can go to all the games. I can possibly attend the semis and the finals if we make it but most likely only the finals, IF we make it. I also loved watching the other games, seeing the fans cheer on their school, rooting against UVM and SBU. It's very upsetting for me. Doesn't effect most as much.

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My 2¢. I liked going to the tournament in one location. It gives a truly March Madness feel, especially since in a one bid conference most teams and fans rarely {in some cases never} get to experience it. For selfish reasons (UA would not get to host again for may be six years and since I am local), I am kind of glad it is the way it is THIS year. But over all I would prefer going back to a one house tournament format. The one thing I especially DO NOT like about this year's format is the reseeding. If bingo or whoever pulls a first round upset, they should be rewarded with a home game; not penalized by being sent to another hostile place. I know they are doing this to make sure AE sends the best representative; but if that is the case, do as someone else suggested and just send the regular season champ and don't have the tournament at all.

 

I believe the "our house format" is a one or two year trial. Anyone know for sure? Regardless, my vote is return to the ONE house format.

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Also if they do go to the tournament format, I think it needs to be a neutral site with the championship game there. This way we can have a tournament format, but keep teams complaining about losing to host schools. Have the championship game same weekend. Do a Friday quarters, saturday semis, and championship Sunday afternoon.

 

The neutral site can help build the America East brand. If they want to build this league they need to add one more team. Is there any possibility of poaching a central ct or offering NJIT?

Edited by UA'08
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Also if they do go to the tournament format, I think it needs to be a neutral site with the championship game there. This way we can have a tournament format, but keep teams complaining about losing to host schools. Have the championship game same weekend. Do a Friday quarters, saturday semis, and championship Sunday afternoon.

 

The neutral site can help build the America East brand. If they want to build this league they need to add one more team. Is there any possibility of poaching a central ct or offering NJIT?

 

From what I understand the neutral site will cost the conference too much money. In the old format the host schools paid for the right to host the tourney and that is how the conference made money. In a neutral site format the conference would have to pay the site to host the tourney there and it would cost too much. I don't know if this is truly the case but what I have heard.

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Also if they do go to the tournament format, I think it needs to be a neutral site with the championship game there. This way we can have a tournament format, but keep teams complaining about losing to host schools. Have the championship game same weekend. Do a Friday quarters, saturday semis, and championship Sunday afternoon.

 

The neutral site can help build the America East brand. If they want to build this league they need to add one more team. Is there any possibility of poaching a central ct or offering NJIT?

 

From what I understand the neutral site will cost the conference too much money. In the old format the host schools paid for the right to host the tourney and that is how the conference made money. In a neutral site format the conference would have to pay the site to host the tourney there and it would cost too much. I don't know if this is truly the case but what I have heard.

 

Actually what really needs to happen is the conference needs its "One Bid Wonder" to make it to the Sweet 16 two or three years in a row (starting with UA this year) and then the money thing becomes a non-issue. Add a couple million a year to the conference from the NCAA and a lot of these problems go away.

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Part of the problem is location. Our league stretches from Maine all the way down to Maryland, which is roughly 10 hours apart. Having a central location where it works for all fan bases is difficult, without some schools flat out being alienated.

 

Also factor in that during early to mid-March, we have arguably the roughest weather in the nation, with frequent snow, blizzards, etc. And also, given that most of the AE schools have fairly small fan bases (at least those willing to travel), versus the bigger conference schools, I think the central location will hurt turnout. It also, provided is the home of a team, gives an unfair advantage.

 

There's past games in the past, where you put on the AE feed during the tournament, and it looks like a scrimmage is going on in terms of attendance and atmosphere. I'd much rather a sell out/near sell out crowd for each team when playing.

 

Our goal should be to have the best team from our conference representing the AE in the tournament. It's the only way you will get an upset and any respect for the conference.

 

As each team in our conference looks to build a fan base, having raucous games like this will prove really important.

Edited by justdrastik1
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Next year will be like this again. After that they will reevaluate

Put "reevaluate" in air-quotes. I think the decision has already been made, unless something goes horribly wrong executing the playoffs.

 

Amy Huchthausen has already noticed the positive reaction from fans throughout the league. She said that fans at the University of Vermont came up to her at their Senior Night game against New Hampshire to express their enthusiasm for the new format.

 

“We’ll have to do an evaluation with our coaches and our athletics directors, hopefully this spring,” Huchthausen said. “Certainly all, at least anecdotal evidence, points in the direction that both coaches, administrators, fans and even the student-athletes all really seem to like the new format.”

 

The administrators will meet in June to evaluate the success of their first playoff run and will keep a close eye on how this format performs.

 

“Fan attendance and engagement is absolutely a critical factor in our assessment,” Huchthausen said. “But then just feedback from the coaches, in terms of some of the logistics, things that will be different this time around. Our staff is seriously planning for events at four different sites

 

“I would be really surprised if there’s not continued support beyond our initial two-year commitment,” Huchthausen said

 

http://www.nycbuckets.com/2015/03/eye-towards-the-present-future-as-first-america-east-playoffs-begin/

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As a fan, I will miss the tournament atmosphere. It was always fun getting to meet and interact with all of the other bands that were in town for the tournament, and getting to see all the teams play. It turned into simply an epic weekend. While I understand that there is some appeal to spreading that "epic" weekend across a number of campuses, it is still a tough pill to swallow.

 

Nevertheless, I can't wait to get started already! Let's Go Danes, get SEFCU rockin!!!!!!!!!!

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I really like this new format...at least this year (because we're the top seed), lol.

That being said, as long as the games are properly aired on AETV/ESPN...I couldn't care less if we played in Vermont or Timbucktu. I wouldn't be attending...so the changing of tournament sites each year is completely useless and irrelevant to me. The only games I drive to are the ones at SEFCU. I will be attending my first road FB game this year just because it's in Buffalo where I have many friends who happen to like UB/football. But other than that...it's not even a concern for me (regardless of sport) and I, personally, hope they keep this format. It's more money for UA (EVERY year) due to concessions, tickets, etc. so why would we want anything different? I think also having a do-or-die game(s) at least once a year (pending we're the top seed in a matchup) will help build the brand (as has been mentioned) due to the type of game it is. Playoff basketball, just like in the NBA, is a different beast from the regular season. 1000x more on the line. It really is March Madness.

 

Benefits:

  • More money from parking, concessions, ticket sales, etc. for the school
  • Crazy atmosphere at HOME where the majority of the schools fans reside due to the playoff/do-or-die game importance
  • Teams that are in the top seeds get to rest at home
  • More than likely the best AE team wins and gets a change to represent the AE at the Big Dance. This is vital to the our conference brand, not just our school brand.
  • It gives teams incentive to play well in the regular season (higher seeds = more home games) as opposed to just wiping the slate clean in the tournament where everyone plays at the same venue. It makes seeding much more important. This is the first year in memory where people were actually concerned with tie breakers, etc.

 

Negatives:

  • The lower seed teams have to play on the road, possibly every game if they keep winning. Meaning bad teams like Maine have virtually no chance of even winning one game
  • Out-of-market fans of a local team can't attend the games without making extra effort

 

The benefits of this format far out weigh the negatives (the only one seeming to be that out of towners can't attend).

Edited by Ilko
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That's what I wrote above (and what others have mentioned)...but if I had to venture a guess, the majority of the UA fans are local, so thus they should (if possible) cater to the majority (me). No offense to the out of towners. Don't you think that makes more sense (fiscally and otherwise) than trying to appease a smaller minority of fans by playing the games somewhere else? UA typically gets 2,800-3,200 or so fans a game, right? Do you think there are the same number of fans that will specifically root for UA somewhere else in this country? I highly doubt it. You have to get the home court advantage when you can.

This is the best way for each team, not just UA, to increase it's exposure at its campus by getting people into THEIR seats. Again, the pro's out weigh the cons by a mile in my opinion.

Edited by Ilko
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