With the addition of Southern Utah and North Dakota the Big Sky Conference went to a 20-game conference schedule in men’s basketball, which meant that the regular season would be a full round-robin.
Idaho, which is still a member of the WAC, makes the move to the Big Sky in 2014 and with that comes the decision to cut the number of conference games down to 18. The Big Sky also announced that it will not split the 12 teams into two divisions.
“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,” said Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton.
“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.’’
Not splitting into divisions is a good move, as it prevents the imbalance that was such an issue in the SEC before that conference made the move to scrap that setup. And having two more dates on the schedule should help the Big Sky when it comes to non-conference scheduling as Fullerton notes.
Perennial powers such as Montana and Weber State (and the other tean teams) get a little more flexibility, which could lead to a higher number of match-ups that ultimately raise the Big Sky’s computer profile (RPI, SOS).
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.