PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- All 16 Big East Conference members will take part in the league's post-season basketball tournament beginning in 2009, Big East officials said in Philadelphia.
The league said the decision to expand its tournament from 12 to 16 teams was made Tuesday at the Big East's annual presidents' meeting.
"Our presidents performed a very thorough review of the tournament format," Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese said in a release. "After extensive deliberation, it was decided that inviting all teams to participate would provide a special opportunity to every men's and women's basketball student-athlete."
The current arrangement has the top 12 teams in the regular-season standings qualifying for the Big East post-season tournament.
In 2009, all 16 teams will advance with the eight lowest seeded teams -- determined through regular-season standings -- playing the first day and the winners going against seeds 5-8 on the second. The top four regular-season finishers will have byes into the round of eight.
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