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Northwest Notes May 23, 2020

| May 23, 2020 1:05 AM

Big Sky basketball teams

to play 16-game conference

schedule in 2020-21

The Big Sky Conference women’s and men’s basketball teams will compete in a 16-game conference schedule during the 2020-21 season, the conference office announced Friday.

The league was scheduled to utilize a 20-game schedule, but as a cost-savings measure the Big Sky’s 11 schools will no longer play each other twice.

The conference’s Presidents’ Council approved this modification that was recommended by the league’s Conference Council, which is comprised of the member schools’ faculty athletics representatives, athletic directors, and senior woman administrators.

“This one-year adjustment to our conference basketball schedules is an appropriate measure that delivers significant cost savings to our member institutions while providing our basketball programs with more flexibility in their non-conference scheduling,” Big Sky commissioner Tom Wistrcill said. “I applaud our schools’ leaders for striking the right balance between providing opportunities for our student-athletes to compete while recognizing the need to make changes for the upcoming year.”

All 11 men’s and women’s teams again will advance to the Big Sky Conference basketball championships, to be held for the third consecutive year at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. This year’s tourneys are scheduled from March 8-13, 2021.

The composite 2020-21 Big Sky Conference basketball schedules, which will tip off on or after New Year’s Eve, will be released at a later date. Geographic proximity will be one of the criteria to determine which six opponents each school plays twice and which four opponents each school plays once.

The previously approved 2020-21 conference schedule was a 20-game double-round robin slate that began with two games in early December and resumed after Christmas. Each institution can determine whether it will replace the four fewer conference games in 2020-21 with non-conference matchups.