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Big Ten announces change to conference basketball tournament structure

The Big Ten Conference basketball tournament will expand from 14 schools to 15 next season, according to an announcement from the league.

The change corresponds with USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington joining the conference — expanding the number of member schools from 14 to 18. The move to a 15-team tournament does mean that three schools per year will miss out on the tournament going forward — something that wasn’t the case before the conference expanded.

The new tournament model will need to follow the previous one of having several schools with byes and a few with double-byes. It is organized so the 14th and 15th entries have the toughest road to the championship, unlike the NCAA Tournament’s even model.

This news obviously affects the Wisconsin basketball program a bit with the  seeding in the conference tournament and possible opponents. But the Badgers do not ever occupy the conference’s cellar, ensuring they’ll make the cut pretty much every season.

Consider this just one drop out of a large cascade of changes coming to collegiate athletics over the next few years.

Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire