KHSAA moves Sweet 16 final to Sunday; first time in history...
For the first time in the 95-year history of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Boys’ Sweet 16, the tournament championship game will be played sometime other than Saturday night.The traditional state tournament format will change for the 2013 event due to potential scheduling conflicts with Rupp Arena and the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team on Saturday, March 9.The semifinals, a doubleheader that has been played on Saturday morning for more than 50 years, will move to Saturday night while the championship will be played at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2013. The championship has traditionally been held on Saturday night.The opening and quarterfinal rounds will remain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as in previous years. Tip-off times for the semifinals have not been confirmed and will be announced at a later date.Tuesday’s announcement gives fans ample time to make travel arrangements for March 6-10 and allows for plans to be finalized before the Southeastern Conference announces UK’s schedule. The KHSAA stressed it wanted to be a “good neighbor” to Rupp Arena and also the university.Teams will adjust their schedules accordingly and it will give more time for teams to rest in between the semifinals and championship game. Teams would adjust that strategy accordingly.Decision is historic
The last time the semifinals and finals weren’t played on the same day pre-dates the records the KHSAA has kept in its office, according to spokesman Elden May. “My records here at the office go back to 1958 and it didn’t happen during that time period,” May said. “So it had to happen before then.”Boone County coach Greg McQueary said he was surprised to hear the news Tuesday afternoon but added it could be a win-win situation for the fans and the teams. He said it could provide an incentive to the Lexington economy for additional stays at area hotel rooms that weekend. McQueary, who is entering his ninth season with the Rebels, also played in the tournament as a Taylor County guard in 1983.NO CHANGES TO GIRLS TOURNAMENT: KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said it wouldn’t be fair to the girls basketball teams or fans to change to a new format this season. The boys tournament was changed due to the potential scheduling conflict at Rupp and no such conflict exists with the girls format in Bowling Green.QUOTABLE: “Circumstances have created both a need and an opportunity for us to try something different for one year and we will see what happens with it. The worst that can happen is we go back to the formula we know has worked for most of our 94 years.” - KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett.
By Mike DyerThe Kentucky Enquirer