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Pac-12 considering adding more conference games to basketball schedule

Other Power Five conferences are starting to do this, and the Pac-12 might follow suit

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats only play the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans once this season, which has people upset.

And understandably so, as it means college basketball fans are missing out on two games between likely-top-25 teams.

But with 12 teams in an 18-game conference schedule, not every team can play everyone twice like they did in the good ole Pac-10 days, so these types of things happen.

Some have suggested the Pac-12 should change its scheduling so that teams like Arizona and UCLA — the conference’s two traditional powerhouses — are a lock to play each other twice a year, and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is open to that.

Specifically, he is intrigued by the possibility of adding more conference games, potentially switching the Pac-12 to a 20- or 22-game conference schedule.

“I think that is a conversation that we’re going to have,” Scott said Friday in Tucson.

And it’s one Scott said he had with Arizona coach Sean Miller.

“Certainly, when you have Arizona and UCLA not playing each other twice in a given year, it highlights one of the weaknesses (of our 18-game schedule),” Scott said.

“But moreover, I’ve always been a fan — whether it’s our football schedule, basketball schedule, or anything else — to get more high-quality games and part of that is more conference games.”

This isn’t exactly a new idea.

Within the next two seasons, two Power Five conferences will be switching from an 18-game conference schedule to a 20-game conference schedule.

The Big Ten will be making the change in the 2018-19 season, according to Jon Rothstein, while the ACC announced it will be going to a 20-game conference schedule in the 2019-20 season.

But while moving away from the 18-game conference schedule sounds like a worthwhile idea for the Pac-12, it can’t happen for at least a few years since the conference’s current 10-year schedule rotation runs through 2020-21.