The expansion of the Big Ten to 18 teams may lead to more men’s basketball conference games next season.
The Big Ten was the first conference to play 20 conference games in the history of Division I basketball in 2018-19, and it could be adding to the gauntlet just six years later. There are ongoing discussion to increase the league slate to 22 games.
The uncertainty at the moment has led to confusion regarding whether the Big Ten will renew its contract with the Big East and continue the Gavitt Games.
“We need to figure out if we are going to 22 (Big Ten) games,” one Big Ten head coach told Adam Zagoria, reporting for NJ Advance Media. “That’s the major issue. Can’t have Gavitt Games with a 22-game schedule.”
The league currently has each team play two Big Ten games in late November and early December. The two additional games would likely be added to those months, which traditionally were reserved for the nonconference portion of the schedule.
Indiana is already slated to play three nonconference games against high major opponents in 2024-25 in connection with the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
The addition of 22 Big Ten games to the Battle 4 Atlantis would mean 25 of IU’s 31 games, at a minimum, would come against high majors.
UCLA, USC, Oregon and Washington are joining the Big Ten for the 2024-25 season.
It probably won’t be too long before the future approach to scheduling is announced.
When the Big Ten last tweaked its scheduling format for the 2018-19 season, the news was announced a year earlier in connection with the league’s media day. The league already held its media day earlier this month.
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