ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Southern Conference wrapped up its annual Spring Meetings on Friday, announcing changes to the league’s men’s basketball regular season and tournament and changes in venues for the men’s soccer tournament for the next four years.
The meetings were attended by each of the member institutions’ president or chancellor, athletics director, senior woman administrator and faculty athletics representative.
As part of the meetings, the league’s administrators voted to change the seeding process for the men’s basketball tournament, giving only the two division winners guaranteed byes in the first round of the tournament. The two additional first-round byes will now go to the two teams with the best conference records, a change which will begin in 2013. The previous format gave the top two teams in each division a guaranteed bye. The SoCon has also elected to move from its current 18-game league schedule to a 16-game conference slate, beginning with the 2013-14 season.
The conference also announced a change in the locations for the men’s soccer tournament semifinals and finals in future years. The WakeMed Complex in Cary, N.C., has been chosen to serve as the host site in 2012 and 2014. Furman, which was originally slated to host in 2012, will host the semifinals and championship match in 2013, while UNCG, which had been scheduled to host the 2013 tournament, will now host in 2015.
The league announced future sites for conference championships in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Appalachian State was awarded the 2014 Women’s Soccer Championship, after hosting the men’s tournament semifinals and final last fall. Georgia Southern was selected to host the 2015 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, while Elon was tabbed to host the league’s softball tournament in 2015.