Atlantic Sun approves changes to conference basketball tournament

Monday, April 8, 2013 at 11:31pm

Lipscomb won’t simply play for Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament seeding next basketball season.

The Bisons will vie for another home game.

On Monday, Atlantic Sun officials approved changes to the format of the eight-team men’s and women’s conference tournaments — mainly bringing the quarterfinal games to campus sites. The top four seeds will host games.

The semifinals and championship games will be played at a site to be determined. League officials said efforts are underway to “secure a top regional facility.”

Since 2010, all three rounds of the tournament have been played at Mercer University. Lipscomb hosted in 2008 and 2009.

This marks the first time since 1986 the tournament will begin at campus sites.

“This is about engaging our great fans all season long — making them more a part of the regular season race and rewarding them with tournament play in their communities,” Atlantic Sun commissioner Ted Gumbart said. “We now have the opportunity to bring our premier event to multiple campuses in the same year, which will be terrific broad promotion of our teams and our basketball at the most exciting time of the year.”

Lipscomb was the eighth and final seed — in a league with 10 teams — in the men’s tournament this year. The Bisons lost to host Mercer in the first round. The Lipscomb women failed to make the tournament for the third time in four years.