Sun Belt Conference should alter tournament bracket

BTH proposed bracket with
2012 seeds. Click to enlarge. Also
I made a mistake. I put ULL as the 6.
They were the 4. But you get
the idea.
Before I lay this out, let me just say it is somewhat hypocritical. UALR took advantage of the current bracket system last year to win its Sun Belt Tournament.

But it appears the time has come for the Sun Belt Conference to do something different with its postseason tournament brackets. It's time to really make the regular season mean something.

Currently, it doesn't mean much. Last year, UALR swept through four games in four nights to win the Sun Belt Tournament. The Trojans beat a North Texas team in the final that also didn't receive a bye in the first round of the tournament.

Last night, Western Kentucky did the same thing, beating North Texas for the championship. That was a 5 seed playing a 7 seed for the title.

Why not reward teams that finish better in conference play with additional byes. And punish those with worse records by making them play more.

It works in the West Coast Conference. Top seeds Saint Mary's and Gonzaga received byes to the semifinals. Not surprisingly, they met for the WCC championship.

This is my proposed bracket. It may need some minor tweaks or adjustments and it would require Hot Springs to give the Sun Belt an extra day of basketball. But it increases the likelihood that the best teams will get to the finish line. And that ultimately is better for the conference.