Pac-12 will add two conference games starting next season; Utes will open league play Dec. 3

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) moves past Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur (22) as Utah hosts Minnesota in NCAA basketball at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.

The Pac-12 announced in May that it would be moving to a 20-game basketball schedule beginning in 2020-21. On Wednesday, the league unveiled those two extra games for each team.

Utah will host Washington on Dec. 3, 2020, while traveling to Arizona State three days later on Dec. 6. Twenty games does not bring the 12-team league to a true round-robin format, but it brings it closer. For 2020-21, the Utes will not host Colorado and will not travel to Arizona.

The Pac-12 Council and Athletics Directors’ Committee announced on May 2, on recommendation from the league’s head coaches, that it would move to 20 games.

In recent years, the 14-team Big Ten and 15-team ACC both moved to 20-game slates. Those moves were met with a mix of optimism and skepticism. Optimism because it provided broadcast opportunities for the league’s respective television networks, plus added opportunities for teams to build their resumes against high-major competition. Skepticism because the league slate will kick off much earlier.

As a point of reference, the Big Ten will play its first league game on Dec. 6. The ACC, playing 20 games for the first time this season, made the radical decision to play seven league games on the opening two nights of the season, Nov. 5-6.