Weeks before the start of the regular season the EIVA has moved the start date of its conference tournament to avoid its conference champion having significant time off before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
The conference announced earlier this week that it moved the EIVA Tournament back one week to April 24-26 to better align with start of the reformatted NCAA Tournament.
The EIVA in the summer originally scheduled its conference tournament for mid-April. This decision was made following the NCAA’s announcement that the EIVA and Conference Carolinas champions would be required to play in the NCAA Tournament play-in match on April 26 because the two conferences had the lowest RPI last season.
The NCAA in October, though, opted to expand the tournament to six teams and eliminate the conference RPI determining what teams compete in the play-in match.
With these NCAA late postseason changes, the EIVA champion would have experienced up to a 12-day layoff between the conference championship match and its first match in the NCAA Tournament. However, the new schedule for the EIVA Tournament now gives its conference champion two to four day off between the matches.
This change to the EIVA Tournament also places the finals back on Conference Championship Saturday when the MIVA Tournament championship and MPSF Tournament championship match will also take place.
The start date change to the conference tournament will expand the regular season for EIVA teams by one week.
Several EIVA teams have already started to adjust their regular season schedules because of the conference tournament schedule change. St. Francis announced earlier week that it would move back its conference matches against Rutgers-Newark and NJIT to April 17-18.
The EIVA Tournament for the 2014 season will maintain its structure from the last three seasons with the top four conference teams during the regular season receiving a berth. In addition, the conference regular season champion will get the right to host the EIVA Tournament semifinals and finals.
Penn State has won 15 consecutive EIVA championships and was named the favorite to win another title in the conference preseason poll that was released Wednesday.