Each spring March Madness signals the start of the college basketball’s post season, but league officials have yet to coin a catch phrase for the new WNBA playoff format, which begins Wednesday.
The first two rounds —“one and done” is the first such post season elimination setup since the league’s first season, when only three games comprised the playoffs — four teams, two semifinals and one title game. With this collegiate look, it will be interesting to see exactly how the new format ultimately will play out as league officials are predicting.
“I love the format, but I don’t like the one and done as much,” admitted Atlanta Coach Michael Cooper last weekend to the MSR. His fifth-seeded Dream hosts Phoenix, the eighth seed Wednesday, in one of two scheduled elimination games. Indiana (6) hosts Seattle (7) in the other contest. The winners advance to the second one-and-done round.
“Maybe they could’ve made that in a two or three-game series,” continued the head coach.
Chicago (4) and New York (3) received one bye and will play the first round winners in the second round. The second round winners then take on top seed Minnesota and second seed Los Angeles who both earned double byes into the semifinals, which begins next week.
The semis and finals are still best-of-five matchups. The new format made the W’s 20th season a competitive one from start to finish to earn one of the eight playoff spots regardless of conference. “It made the [regular season] that much more interesting,” noted Cooper.
Furthermore, this is something that some believe the NBA will be looking at closely — some have been suggested a similar playoff setup sans the one-game knockout.
Finally, here’s a suggested theme for this year’s WNBA playoffs: “September sudden death.”
“We got the game at home,” said Cooper. “No matter who we will play, we are going to win.”
Check MSRNewsOnline for our coverage throughout the WNBA playoffs.
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.