CBS: The bold, new college basketball flex scheduling model that would bring big nonconference games into February

BleedGopher

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per Matt:

An innovative nonconference scheduling initiative is developing behind the scenes in college basketball that, if adopted, would adjust the landscape of the sport each February.

Twenty-two of Division I's 32 conferences have been receptive to an ambitious scheduling concept that would introduce back-to-back non-league games played just a few weeks prior to Selection Sunday, WAC commissioner Brian Thornton and WAC associate commissioner Drew Speraw told CBS Sports. The selling point of these out-of-conference matchups would be to pit projected NCAA Tournament candidates, in addition to bona fide bubble teams, against each other. What's more, there would be an array of games between schools fighting to improve their NCAA tourney résumés.

Here's how the first-of-its-kind concept would work: For one week in February, a slew of leagues would pause their conference schedules and instead have all their members play two nonconference opponents. The model would have every team involved play one home game and one away game, with the majority of those games happening three days apart — many on Wednesday and Saturday — with the window commencing after Valentine's Day.

The matchups would be decided by an algorithm that would ensure the best teams play the best teams. The games wouldn't be determined until the end of January. Think of it like a mini-Selection Sunday within the regular season. You could even build a television show around it. How fun would that be?

If the important multi-bid leagues (American Athletic Conference, Mountain West, Atlantic 10, West Coast Conference) decide to do this, college hoops could theoretically have late-February nonconference games akin to Gonzaga-Houston, Colorado State-Davidson, Memphis-Saint Mary's or Boise State-Davidson — all teams that comfortably made the 2022 NCAA Tournament. This would provide a late-season scheduling opportunity that would undeniably enhance those conferences' visibility and viability to get more teams into the discussion of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament.

This groundbreaking concept was conjured up by Thornton, a former college basketball coach, who initially toyed with the idea in 2020 when he was an associate commissioner at the American Athletic Conference. There is no formal name attached to the event yet, but the notion as a whole stands to improve college basketball's regular season.


Go Gophers!!
 

Holy Man

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This looks like a better organized and better games scenario than the old bracket busters format. Would be nice to see Power 5 participants but 20 game schedules won’t allow that. Will be interesting to see where TV places these games in relation to bottom level Power 5 games. This is a true love of the game basketball event. Great idea!
 

Ope3

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Seems all fine and good for the non-Power 6 conferences.

For the Power 6 teams, conference play itself is enough interest for me.
 

60's Guy

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Great exciting idea if they can organize all the details in an efficient manner. Gotta have open slots for certain venues on the schedule to be able to play on certain dates, available plane fares and flights. It's all gonna get pricey. Tickets sales are gonna be quick turnaround...get the word out etc
But it would be fun and it'd be a talker with everybody excited or complaining about matchups.
Teams or conferences could definitely be exposed...only one team from conference A wins etc.
I like the concept, if they eliminate most all the planning pitfalls.

Be nice to see us matchup with Duke or Kentucky. Go Gophers!
 

leib0039

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The concept is awesome, I do agree this feels more like a mid-low major thing. I think P6 conferences will want to keep their conf going, they want Nova/Cre, Pur/Mich St, UNC/Duke on these weekends in Jan/Feb.

I know all would say they are for it, but i do wonder sometimes if that is true or not. For example, this year if So Dak St was set up to play murray st, that is a no lose spot for SDSU, if they win they boost their small shot an at large, if they lose they have to win the conf tourney anyway. Murray St was likely hanging onto an at large spot win or lose their conf tourney, but if they lose this game now its like well they cant beat SDSU, are they an at large team?? Again, no AD/coach/player is going to say that, but I think it might be pretty true for some teams.
 


alchemy2u

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I see no reason why a P5 school would want to play these smaller "hot" teams. A loss would be a huge hit on the P5 schools seeding and a win would not do much to help.
 

Some guy

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I see no reason why a P5 school would want to play these smaller "hot" teams. A loss would be a huge hit on the P5 schools seeding and a win would not do much to help.
Yeah. Basically they have to do this.

Michigan vs Rutgers late in the season and it’s almost a guaranteed quad 1 win for road team, quad 1 or 2 win for a road team.
Zero chance of a bad loss

Meanwhile, first place team in a lot of leagues takes one bad loss and doesn’t get a shot at a quad 1 all year. Lose in the conference tourney and they get bounced.


The committee has basically said losing doesn’t matter. They’d rather take a 18-14 team with 7 quality wins and 14 losses than a 28-4 team with no quality wins

And because of this, you have to schedule quality opponents. No downside to losing. Huge upside to winning. The non power 6 would like to be more competitive for at large bids
 

alchemy2u

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Yeah. Basically they have to do this.

Michigan vs Rutgers late in the season and it’s almost a guaranteed quad 1 win for road team, quad 1 or 2 win for a road team.
Zero chance of a bad loss

Meanwhile, first place team in a lot of leagues takes one bad loss and doesn’t get a shot at a quad 1 all year. Lose in the conference tourney and they get bounced.


The committee has basically said losing doesn’t matter. They’d rather take a 18-14 team with 7 quality wins and 14 losses than a 28-4 team with no quality wins

And because of this, you have to schedule quality opponents. No downside to losing. Huge upside to winning. The non power 6 would like to be more competitive for at large bids
They are talking about non-conference games.
 




Some guy

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They are talking about non-conference games.
Yeah. I know
The power 6 doesn’t need to schedule late season quality wins because they’re already built into the conference schedule

The non power 6 wants its bubble teams to play each other late to try to get half of them more quality wins to be more competitive against the 6-10th place big ten team for at large and seeding
 




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