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Pac-12 basketball considering 20 conference games. Why not round robin and 22?

There are benefits to this.

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Championship Arizona vs Oregon Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 is mulling moves to beef up their basketball RPI. One thing that always hurts the conference is the lack of major marquee wins in non-conference. The conference of champions does not get the big opponents other teams have due to being the most remote conference by distance. The Pac-12 ends up with a ton of middling or lowly mid-majors on their schedule that benefit them little and can come at great loss if they were to suffer an upset.

So it might be worth looking into changes. Some might be on their way.

Apparently all the major conferences are looking for a way to boost up the basketball ratings. One idea has been to move the number of conference matchups up to 20 games. The Pac-12 currently plays 18 games, which each team skipping a road trip to two programs a year and losing home games to two other programs. The schedules rotate on a recurring basis.

That being said, why not go all the way? Why not have 22 games and go back to the full round robin?

One drawback is that the Pac-12 might struggle to have a ton of teams get in with more parity that inevitably occurs in a round robin system. Two to four more conference games means one to two more losses on average for each team. On the other hand, if you’re going to trade unimpressive wins for bad losses, isn’t it better to lose to a last place Pac-12 team rather than a next-to-last place WCC team?

It’s something definitely worth exploring, as college basketball contends for potentially diminishing returns in a wide open TV landscape.