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EDC has switch in tourney structure

For the first time in a couple decades, the Eastern Dakota Conference basketball tournaments will open at home sites. Instead of holding the boys and girls state-qualifying tournaments at one site, the EDC will open today with quarterfinal games ...

For the first time in a couple decades, the Eastern Dakota Conference

basketball tournaments will open at home sites.

Instead of holding the boys and girls state-qualifying tournaments at one site, the EDC will open today with quarterfinal games at the home sites of the top four seeds.

The boys tournament will continue Friday and Saturday at North Dakota State's Bison Sports Arena. The girls tournament will continue Friday at the Fargo Civic Center and Saturday at the Bison Sports Arena.

"It's like a road show," said Fargo Shanley girls coach Tim Jacobson.

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It's a one-year experiment, according to Fargo Shanley's Randy Nelson, one of the 10 athletic directors who voted to make the change.

"The idea was to draw more fans and I think it will," Nelson said. "You think about those 1 p.m. opening-round games that were held in places like the Alerus and kids were still in school and parents were still working."

Most coaches like the new format in that it rewards the top four seeds with a home playoff game.

"It gives you that little extra edge that makes the regular season a little more important," said Fargo North boys coach Dan Shultis. "There just seemed to be a little more buzz at the end of the season."

"If you are a top-four seed, you will have to like it," said Fargo South girls coach Craig Flaagan, who recalls the EDC using opening-round home sites nearly 16 years ago. "It was just decided back then that it wasn't fair for everybody."

Some coaches expressed concern that the new format takes away the tournament atmosphere. And Flaagan doesn't like the potential of girls teams having to play on three different courts this week.

"If I had my preference, I would like to be at the Civic all three games," Flaagan said.

"The Civic is a great place to play," Jacobson said. "At the Bison Sports Arena, you become disconnected a little bit. But you just deal with it. I'm sure everyone will adapt."

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Nelson said with any change, there is always going to be some glitches.

"It's going to be hard to change, but we will wait and see what happens," said South boys coach Mike Hendrickson. "We haven't experienced it yet."

"We can try it," said Shanley boys coach Leon Knodel. "If we don't like it, we can always go back."

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor

Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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