ACC staying with 16-game sked through 2008

Updated: May 13, 2004, 11:00 AM ET
Associated Press

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- The expanded Atlantic Coast Conference voted to stay with a 16-game conference schedule in men's basketball through 2007-08.

Television executives had asked the league to consider an 18-game conference slate starting next year, when Boston College will join the conference and push it to 12 teams. But coaches said that would limit their ability to schedule nonconference games and the league voted Wednesday for a 16-game slate.

In recent years, with nine teams in the conference, the ACC has played a 16-game schedule in which each school plays every other school twice. That will change starting next season, when Miami and Virginia Tech join the conference.

Once the league hits a dozen in 2005, teams will play a three-year rotating schedule under which some conference opponents will face each other once, and others twice. Under that format, teams will have two "primary partners" -- rivals it is guaranteed to play twice each season.

That guarantees rivalries like Duke-North Carolina, Duke-Maryland, and North Carolina-North Carolina State will be played twice each season.

Also Wednesday at the conference's annual meeting, the ACC formalized adjustments to its conference tournament schedules for men's and women's basketball.

In 2005, with 11 teams, the bottom six teams will play each other on the first day of the tournament, while the top five get byes into the second round.

Starting in 2006, the tournaments will open with four games between the bottom eight teams in the standings. Winners of those games will advance to face the top four seeds, who will get first-round byes.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press