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WCC schedule will switch to balanced scheduling for 2023-2024 after BYU departs

Not much of a surprise here.

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at Brigham Young Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The WCC will revert back to a balanced schedule after the BYU Cougars depart the conference for the Big 12, Jon Rothstein announced on Tuesday.

The conference schedule was a balanced format back in 2018 with each team playing each other twice for 18 total conference games. As part of the concessions essentially made to the top teams back when the Mountain West Conference was looking to poach Gonzaga, the WCC switched to a 16 game conference schedule, with the top teams losing two games to the lowest RPI teams.

There really isn’t much of a change here, outside of Gonzaga losing the potential for two consistently good wins against the BYU Cougars. With BYU departing for the Big 12, the WCC will be back down to nine members, just like it was in 2012 when BYU joined. Playing 16 conference games, each team twice, makes logical sense.

How long this lasts for the Zags remains to be seen, of course. The rumor mill has been flying this season, with Gonzaga meeting the commissioner of the Big 12, thoughts around the Big East, etc. The smart money on the table would be to predict that the Zags leave, sooner than later.

In the meantime, until that happens, it will be interesting to see if Gonzaga changes the scheduling philosophy a little bit. Perhaps that means restarting the old home-and-home with Memphis or trying to install “Bracket Buster” games—a game of Kent State’s caliber in February vs. December, for example.