New Tougher C-USA Men’s Hoops Schedule Approved
The C-USA Spring meetings wrapped up in Destin, Florida and the men's basketball schedule will have a much different look for the 2018-19 season. For years, the league has tried to get a second team into the NCAA Tournament, and they have made a scheduling adjustment that could do just that.
UTEP will play their 14-game regular schedule against every team in C-USA and they will have one extra game against their travel partner, UTSA. The final four regular season games will be decided by the league's standings. According to sports columnist Chuck Landon from the Herald Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia, C-USA will structure their schedule so the five best teams in the league standings will play each other once over the final four games. The same will happen for teams that are 6-10. The final four teams ranked 11-14 in the standings will play more of a round-robin format. The objective is for the best teams in C-USA to play each other once more over those final four games and improve their RPI heading into the postseason conference tournament. In addition, the top 12 teams will continue to play in the C-USA Postseason Tournament next spring. The top four teams will continue to receive byes into the quarterfinals.
All of this is thanks to Mark Adams, a former college basketball coach and current analyst for ESPN. Adams visited El Paso last fall and spoke with us about trying to improve C-USA's RPI profile as a league. The changes the league is implementing next season will definitely help the best teams not potentially lose to a much weaker conference opponent close to the postseason tournament. However, C-USA could increase their chances of sending more than one team to the NCAA Tournament by limiting the postseason field from 14 to 10 teams and giving the top two finishers in the regular season standings a bye to the semifinals. Regardless, C-USA is doing the right thing in their scheduling and other mid-majors could soon follow their lead.