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Big Ten discussing 20 game conference schedule
Thursday Jun 15, 2017 12:00am

(UNDATED) - Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says there has been ongoing discussions about moving to a 20-game league schedule, and Michigan State's Tom Izzo feels as though it's heading in that direction. The Big Ten added two conference games and went from 16 to 18 back in 2007-08. Delany said the coaches haven't voted on whether to go from an 18 to a 20 game conference slate yet. He says the logistics will have to be figured out, especially with recovery time for the players. However, Delany says that the move would certainly be favorable to bring more high-profile games to college basketball earlier in the season. It would mean that league play would start in December, normally a time of year reserved for unbalanced nonconference matchups. Izzo says he would be in favor the change to 20 Big Ten contests, as long as all of the power leagues do the same. The ACC announced last July that it intends to move to a 20 game league schedule beginning in the 2019-20 season. If the Big Ten does go to 20 conference games, it gives less flexibility to the nonconference slate. Izzo is known for playing a difficult non-league schedule each year, but he said he would have fewer opportunities because he'd be locked into 20 league contests, a Thanksgiving exempt event, the Champions Classic, the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and also the Gavitt Games. That leaves likely six nonconference dates.

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