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The New Sarachek Format, Explained

For the last decade and a half, 20 teams have competed in the Annual Red Sarachek Tournament. This year, the tournament will feature four additional teams, for a total of 24. With the change in the number of teams comes revisions to the tournament format.

Each Tier will consist of 8 teams

No Tier I Byes.

Historically, the top 4 ranked teams receive a first-day bye, and automatically advance to the Tier I Quarterfinal game. This year, those teams will have to play a Tier I Qualifier on Thursday to earn the right to advance to the Tier I Quarterfinals.

16 teams, Instead of 12, Have a Shot At Tier I.

In years past, there have only been 12 teams that have the chance to play for Tier I, with 5 playing 12 on Thursday, 6 playing 11, etc. Because of the additional 4 teams being added, there are now 16 teams that have a chance to play for Tier I. The Thursday matchups are now 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, etc.

3 Tiers, Not 4.

In the past, there have been 4 tiers; Tier I included 8 teams, while Tiers II, III, and IV included 4 teams. This year, there will only be 3 tiers, with 8 teams in each tier. This means that in order to win any tiers, a team would have to at least win their last three games, if not go 4-0. When there were 4 tiers, Tiers III and IV only had semifinals and championship games; now, each tier will have quarterfinal games.

No Reseeding.

There will be no reseeding in this tournament. If the 16 seed beats the 1 seed, the 16 seed will then play the winner of the 8 vs 9 game, and the 1 seed would play the 17 seed. If there was reseeding, the 16 seed would play the highest remaining seed left in Tier I.


The Tier I Qualifiers will take place on Thursday between the 1-16 seeds; the 17-24 seeds will not play on Thursday. The winners of those games will move on to the Tier I Quarterfinals on Friday; the losers will compete in the Tier II Quarterfinals against the 17-24 seeds. The winners of the Tier I Quarterfinal games will move on to the Tier I Semifinals on Sunday; the losers will play in Tier I Consolation games on Sunday. The winners of the Friday’s Tier II Qualifier games will move on to Tier II and play in the Tier II Quarterfinals on Saturday night; the losers of the Tier II Qualifier games will drop to Tier III and play in the Tier III Quarterfinals on Saturday night. The winners of the Tier II and Tier III Quarterfinal games will play in Sunday’s Tier II and III Semifinals games, while the losers will play in Tier II and III Consolation games on Sunday. On Monday, each Tier will hold Championship, 3rd Place, 5th Place, and 7th Place games.


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