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Volume 25 No. 239
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Source: Pac-12 Considering New Conference Schedule For Hoops

Only three Pac-12 teams -- one of which was Arizona -- made the NCAA Tournament last year
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Pac-12 is "exploring matching up" the best men's basketball teams in the conference on a "year-by-year basis rather than sticking to the pre-existing league schedules that [were] put in place on a 10-year plan" prior to the '11-12 season, according to a source cited by Jon Rothstein of FANRAG SPORTS. This is "similar to the model used by the Atlantic-10, where the conference office regularly attempts to schedule its best teams multiple times in league play prior to each season in an effort  to have the best possible metrics for the NCAA Tournament selection committee." A source said that the Pac-12 has "asked each head coach to pick next year's order of finish 1-12 in an effort to gauge which matchups next year would yield the best possible formula" in preparation for the '19 NCAA Tournament. The Pac-12 last season only had three teams -- Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA -- in the NCAA Tournament, and none "advanced past the Round of 64" (FRSHOOPZ.com, 5/28).

SHAKING THINGS UP: In West Virginia, Chuck Landon noted Conference USA has not had "more than one member into the NCAA Tournament" since '12, and no conference school has "enjoyed a single digit seed since Memphis was seeded No. 6" in '13. The "most radical difference will be that when the conference schedule is released" this season, there will be built in dates for games, but with opponents "to be determined." Those dates "will be filled with league opponents after the conference seeds the teams following the first 14 games." Marshall coach Dan D'Antoni said, "We're going to play 13 games and your travel partner twice. ... Then they are going to seed the schools. If you finish in the top 5, No. 1 through No. 5 will play each other for the next four games to get to 18 games." Landon noted the goal is for C-USA's best teams to play one another in an "effort to boost" RPI of those teams (Huntington HERALD-DISPATCH, 5/28).