CHICAGO — The Big Ten is about to change the way it assigns “single-play” games in scheduling future men’s and women’s basketball games.
Teams play 18-game schedules, facing seven opponents twice (home and home) and four others once a season. The assignment of opponents follows no set pattern.
Until now, the four “single-play” games had been arranged on a two-year basis. For example, Nebraska has played Indiana, Michigan, Purdue and Northwestern once each of the past two seasons.
Mark Rudner, associate commissioner of the Big Ten, said starting next season that single-play opponents will rotate yearly.
“Our men’s and women’s coaches both wanted it this way,” Rudner said. “So we’re going to break the two-year cycle on this.”
The 2013-14 season made sense to change the two-year cycle because the Big Ten will expand to 14 teams for 2014-15, forcing scheduling changes anyway.
‘Good for NU’
Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst took part in Big Ten meetings this week at the tournament, but said Friday night that “absolutely nothing” of note was finalized.
“But we’re getting close,” he said. “It’s going to be good for Nebraska.”
The spring meetings May 13-15 in Chicago are when major decisions are expected on such things as divisional alignment and a nine- or 10-game conference football schedule.
The Big Ten membership will change for the 2014-15 academic year when Rutgers and Maryland are added.
Bits and pieces
>> Those filling out NCAA brackets should note that Michigan, though ranked No. 6 nationally, is 6-6 in its past 12 games and that No. 10 Ohio State has won six in a row.
>> Nebraska’s Dylan Talley played both games in the tournament battling a stomach virus.
>> Brandon Ubel’s 16-point game was the 40th time in his career he reached double digits.
— Lee Barfknecht