Nov. 25, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - The Atlantic 10 Conference and CBS Sports today announced a multi-year agreement for CBS to air the league's men's basketball championship final, beginning in 2010.
"We are extremely excited to partner with CBS Sports for our men's basketball championship," says A-10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "To have our champion crowned on the most exciting day of the college basketball season - Selection Sunday - speaks volumes to the respect that the Atlantic 10 has on a national level. Our student-athletes, coaches, and administrators will benefit greatly."
"We are delighted to welcome the Atlantic 10 to the outstanding CBS Sports collection of championship games," says Mike Aresco, executive vice president, programming for CBS Sports. "The conference has a long tradition of excellence and now our viewers will be able to see the game that sends the winner to the NCAA Championship."
The Atlantic 10 also announced a new format for the men's basketball championship to coincide with the 2010 title game being moved to Sunday on CBS Sports. The new format will continue to see the top 12 teams participate with seeds 1 through 4 receiving an opening round bye; however, the four opening round games will move to the campuses of the higher remaining seeded teams. Winners of each game will advance to the quarterfinals at a site scheduled to be announced later this winter for 2010 and beyond.
"Allowing four institutions to host an opening round championship game will generate enthusiasm throughout the footprint of the Atlantic 10," says McGlade. "This hybrid format presents the best of all worlds: allowing teams to host mid-week opening round games, which are always an attendance challenge, and subsequently advancing all to a common championship site on a traditional weekend schedule of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It has the potential to benefit the teams, the fans, the media opportunities, and the overall excitement surrounding the event."
The 2010 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship will begin on Tuesday, March 9, with opening round play and will continue on Friday, March 12 with four quarterfinal round games. The semifinals will be played the afternoon of Saturday, March 13, with the final tipping off at 1:00pm on Sunday, March 14, on CBS Sports.
The 2009 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship will commence on Wednesday, March 11, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. and conclude with the title game on Saturday, March 14, on ESPN2 at 6:00pm. Tickets can be purchased in person or by phone at the Boardwalk Hall ticket office (609-348-7021), any Atlantic 10 institution's ticket office, and on-line at www.atlantic10.org, www.atlanticcitynj.com, and www.ticketmaster.com.