The Modesto Junior College Basketball Tournament, which celebrates its 79th renewal this December, may be reduced to eight teams.
Awkward dates, combined with Paul Brogan ending his 15-year run as coach last month, have resulted in uncertainty surrounding what has been California’s only 16-team regular-season event.
MJC athletic director Nick Stavrianoudakis, who announced the Dec. 15-17 dates for the tournament, said an eight-team bracket is likely. Seven teams appear to be in place.
“We’ll have an eight-team tournament for sure,” Stavrianoudakis said. “I’ve told coaches from other schools that it could go to 16 if there’s a big wave (of entries).”
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In recent years, the MJC tournament has been held the week after final exams, a policy MJC prefers. That can’t be done this year, however, because the competition would end on Christmas eve. Few schools wanted to play that night.
We’ll have an eight-team tournament for sure. I’ve told coaches from other schools that it could go to 16 if there’s a big wave (of entries)
With that, MJC has set the tournament this year in finals week. Stavrianoudakis said the event could be expanded to Sunday if more teams are found.
Stavrianoudakis confirmed that Fresno, the 13-time tournament champion and winner of the last three and eight of the last 10, will defend its title. Plans also are in motion for the 80th tournament in 2017.
“We will definitely have 16 teams for the 80th,” Stavrianoudakis said.