With realignment comes inevitable changes to conference tournament formats. Here is a list of format changes that I have confirmed for 2012. I will update as I get further confirmation.
Ohio Valley-With the addition of Belmont, the OVC will move to divisional play in 2012. The division winners will be the top 2 seeds of the 8-team tournament, and receive double byes. Seeds 3 and 4 will receive 1st round byes but seeds 3-8 will be seeded by record regardless of division affiliation.
Big South-Longwood joins the Big South allowing the conference to go to divisional play. The top 4 teams (top 2 in each division) will get byes. The of the field will be seeded by record within their division.
Big Sky-The Big Sky adds North Dakota and Southern Utah and as a result will now have a 7-team tournament. The top seed receives a bye to the semifinals. All tournament games will now be hosted by the regular season champion.
Colonial Athletic Association-Virginia Commonwealth left a year early, Georgia State and Old Dominion are ineligible due to impending defections and Towson and UNC-Wilmington are ineligible due to low APR scores. As a result the Colonial will go to 7-team tournament format in 2012. The format will mirror the one adopted by the Big Sky Conference.
Western Athletic Conference-One of the hardest hit conferences by realignment, the WAC loses Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada but adds Denver, Seattle, Texas State, Texas-Arlington and Texas-San Antonio. The conference moves to a 10-team tournament in 2012 with the top two teams receiving byes and teams 7-10 playing in first round games.
Southeastern-The SEC will move to a 14-team tournament with the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M. Teams will be seeded 1-14 and the tournament will begin on Wednesday with matchups between the No. 11 and No. 14 seeds and the No. 12 and No. 13 seeds. The winners will advance to meet the sixth and fifth seeds, respectively, on Thursday. Also playing on Thursday with be the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds and the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds. The top four seeds in the tournament will receive byes until Friday’s quarterfinal round.
Horizon League-Butler has run off to the Atlantic 10 leaving the league to a 9-team tournament with the top seed getting a bye to the quarterfinals and the 8-9 seeds playing in a 1st round game.
Sun Belt-Denver has departed for the WAC. The SBC will now give its top 3 seeds byes to the quarterfinals, with seeds 6-11 to battle it out in the 1st round.
Mountain West-With the defection of TCU to the Big 12 and the additions of Fresno State and Nevada the Mountain West will move to a 9-team format with the top seed getting a bye to the quarterfinals to face the winner of the #8/#9 match up.
Southland-Oral Roberts comes over from the Summit League but the Texas trio of Texas State, Texas-Arlington and Texas-San Antonio have left. As a result, the top 2 seeds in the tournament will receive byes to the semifinals. The third and fourth seeds get byes to the quarterfinals and seeds 5-8 play in the first round. The league will also be disbanding its divisional format.
America East- With Boston University ineligible due to an impending move to the Patriot League in 2013 the league will have all 8 eligible teams in quarterfinal action.
Despite additions and subtractions to membership, the Atlantic 10, Big West, Big 12 and the Summit League will not be changing their tournament formats.