The Big Ten Conference Administrators Council approved a change to the format of future men’s and women’s basketball schedules at its annual meeting last week. Beginning with the 2018-19 season, the men’s basketball schedule will increase to 20 conference games and the women’s basketball schedule will feature 18 conference games.
Under the new men’s format, teams will play seven opponents twice and six teams once (three home, three away) in a given season. The three in-state rivalries – Illinois/Northwestern, Indiana/Purdue and Michigan/Michigan State – will be played twice annually, while the new schedule will also include a regional component to increase the frequency of games among teams in similar areas. Over the course of a six-year cycle (12 playing opportunities), in-state rivals will play each other 12 times, regional opponents will play 10 times, and all other teams will play nine times.
The updated women’s format will feature 18 conference games that will allow teams to play five opponents twice and eight teams once (four home, four away) each season. A similar model that emphasizes in-state rivalries and competition between regional opponents will also be implemented for the new women’s schedule.
More details, including each team’s list of single- and double-play opponents for 2018-19, will be released at a later date.