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Big Sky Conference: Schools to play 18-game conference hoop schedule

Published June 6, 2013 1:49 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Big Sky men's and women's basketball teams will play an 18-game conference schedule starting in 2014-15.

Conference presidents approved the scheduling concept, as well as several others proposals during their annual spring meetings in Missoula, Mont.

Big Sky basketball teams played a double-round robin 20-game schedule in 2012-13, and will again in 2013-14. The University of Idaho returns to the Big Sky for the majority of its sports on July 1, 2014, meaning the league will have 12 basketball and volleyball teams.

League administrators voted not to use a two-division format for basketball, but will implement a two-division format for volleyball. Volleyball will play a 16-match conference schedule, playing a double-round robin within the division, and crossing over to play teams in the other division once.

"We're ironing out the details of what schools will be in what division, as well as the division names for volleyball,'' BSC commissioner Doug Fullerton said. "A 16-game, two-division format made sense for volleyball. It contains the conference schedule to eight weeks, which allows us to move our championship out of Thanksgiving weekend. It's also easier for our volleyball teams to schedule non-conference games.

"However, our administrators felt like 18 games with no divisions will be a better format for basketball, where it becoming increasingly more difficult to schedule home Division I non-conference games. Playing in one division for basketball allows for a more equitable schedule than an 18-game schedule with two divisions. Our schedule will likely be modeled after the Pac-12's current model''

Also, the conference approved a six-team soccer championship starting in the fall of 2014. The addition of Idaho will give the league 11 soccer-playing members. The format will consist of the quarterfinals on Thursday, followed by the semifinals on Friday and the championship on Sunday. This upcoming fall will be the final year of a four-team soccer tournament.