Pittsburgh, PA — Tuesday, the Atlantic 10 revealed the plan for the next three years with its women’s basketball championship being played at three campus sites, one each season from the quarterfinals and onward.
This upcoming season, specifically March 8-10, will be played at the Palumbo Center, which is Duquesne’s home gym.
Dayton will be the host of the 2020 event and VCU has the honors in 2021.
“The ability to bring to our women’s basketball championship back to campus and to three outstanding host institutions, allows us the opportunity to continue to grow the championship throughout the Atlantic 10 footprint,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade in a conference issued press release.
This move is a change from the past five seasons in which the championships were contested at Richmond Coliseum, however the venue is currently undergoing renovations.
The championship format will remain the same for a third consecutive season, with the top-two seeds earning a first-rounds bye and seeds three through eight hosting a game against the teams with the six worst conference records. This will all play out March 5.
Those winners and the top-two seeds will play in quarterfinals, semifinals and championship game all of which will occur at the Palumbo Center.
Pittsburgh was selected as the first host site due to its successful history hosting tournaments including first and second rounds at the NCAA Tournament at PPG Paints Arena and volleyball Atlantic 10 Championships, both of which were last season.
“The incredible support by our university to host the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Tournament clearly shows the level of commitment that our athletic administration has for Women’s Basketball,” Duquesne women’s basketball coach Dan Burt said. “We are excited to showcase Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball to the Pittsburgh region. I know that the casual and rabid fan alike will enjoy the high level of play, the competitiveness of the rivalries within the league, and intensity of March basketball.”
Dayton will host at UD Arena which has hosted First Four matchups in recent years and is providing upgrades to its venue.
VCU brings a return back to Virginia and a facility with plenty of seats if played on campus or back at Richmond Coliseum. The venue was not specified in the release.
The Atlantic 10 did not respond to additional requests for comment at the time this story is being published.
As far as Duquesne is concerned, this news comes at a time where a team which placed second in the regular season a year ago returns all five of its starters, meaning there certainly could be a homecourt advantage.
“We are incredibly happy to be hosting the tournament this year with a very strong, veteran team returning,” said Burt. “Being able to sleep in your own bed, shooting on rims that you know well, playing in front of your hometown friends, fans, and family all add up to a special experience for our student athletes.”