New format for WNBA Playoffs 20 Sep 16

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA changed its playoff format this season to ensure the best teams advanced and to create more of a buzz for the postseason.

While the playoffs don’t tip-off until Wednesday, the change definitely made for an exciting finish to the regular season. Half of the eight seeds weren’t determined until the final day of the regular season Sunday and only one game separated fifth place from eighth.

The first two rounds of the playoffs will be single elimination contests with fifth-seeded Indiana hosting No. 8 Phoenix and seventh-seed Seattle playing at No. 6 Atlanta on Wednesday. The second round begins Saturday with New York and Chicago waiting — and it will also be single elimination.

Minnesota and Los Angeles had the best marks all season long and earned them byes until the semifinals. The Lynx are looking to become the league’s first back-to-back champions since Los Angeles repeated in 2001-02.