Boys Basketball Tournament to be held a week earlier in 2018-19 because of scheduling conflicts
East Lansing – The Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association approved during its fall meeting that a switch will take in the boys and girls basketball tournaments for the 2018-19 season.
Since the girls basketball season moved to the winter from fall in 2007-08, their tournament has begun a week before the boys. However, in March of 2019, Michigan State University’s Breslin Center will not be available for the traditional MHSAA boys championship weekend because of the possibility of the MSU women’s basketball program hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The Breslin Center is the only available arena large enough to host the boys semifinals and finals. Because of this the Council voted to switch the schedule for that season only so the boys tournament can finish at Breslin during the weekend of March 14-16, 2019.
The girls semifinals and finals are moving to Calvin College’s Van Noord Arena for this 2017-18 season and with this switch will be played at Calvin College during the weekend of March 21-23, 2019.
This switch in calendars for 2018-19 also includes a switch of starting dates for when practices may begin and first games played. Typically, practices for both begin girls and then boys during the first two weeks of November, with girls basketball teams allowed to play their first games the Monday after Thanksgiving followed by the first boys basketball games a week later. In 2018-19, the boys will begin practice first and the first boys basketball games will be able to be played that Monday after Thanksgiving, followed by the first girls games a week later. The boys District and Regional tournaments also will start a week earlier than those for the girls.
“Although it is not our preference to change schedules of events that continue to run smoothly, switching girls and boys schedules in this way allows us to keep the current tournament format and traditions that help make these two of our most popular Finals every school year,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “This will keep the boys at the venue most capable of hosting them and the girls at a venue we’re excited to move to this season.”
Roberts also noted that this switch will be for only the 2018-19 season. The current NCAA calendar for 2019-20 would allow for the MHSAA girls and boys tournaments to move back to their traditional weekends with semifinals and finals played at a Division I college venue.