We’re five days away from the start of the NCAA season, so even though you’ve valiantly put off understanding the new championship format for as long as possible (and I’m so proud of you for it), it’s time to buckle down and do the thing.
The new postseason format instituted for 2019 is an improvement over the previous system in many ways, most notably because of the elimination of those bloated and interminable six-team meets with bye rotations. It still has its faults and problems from the previous format that have gone unresolved, which we’ll all be sure to complain about at every possible moment, but it’s a step. So here’s how it will go.
The season itself will progress as before. The teams will compete every weekend, they’ll all get overscored, you’ll be furious about it, and everything will be fine and normal. Following the conference championships, the top 36 teams will still advance to the elimination meets, as per usual, while the season ends for everyone else. After that, it gets new and different.
Previously, the 36 advancing teams would be divided among 6 regional sites—6 teams at each site—for a single day of elimination competition from which the top 2 teams at each site advanced to the national championship.
This year, the 36 advancing teams will be divided among 4 regional sites—9 teams at each site—for three days of elimination competition after which the top 2 teams at each site will advance to the national championship. Continue reading Explained: The New NCAA Championship Format