NORFOLK (WAVY) – For several years, Conference USA has been what’s called a “one-bid” league, which means only the conference tournament champion receives an automatic bid to play in the NCAA Tournament.
In an effort to change that, the conference re-configured the end of the regular season to what’s now being called “Bonus Play” or “Pod Play.”
“The primary objective is to help those teams that have performed well in the first go-around in conference play,” said Old Dominion Head Coach Jeff Jones.
The top five teams in the conference are assigned to pod one, the next five to pod two, and the remaining four to pod three. The teams in each pod will play eachother over the remaining four games.
As the first place team in Conference USA, Old Dominion earned the top seed in the first pod, and will get to host second-place Southern Mississippi, and third-place Western Kentucky. The Monarchs will travel to fourth-place Texas- San Antonio, and fifth-place Alabama Birmingham.
The conference hopes top teams playing eachother, rather than the bottom-tier teams, will not only raise its profile, and maybe add a few more teams to consideration for postseason play.