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Jim Delany says Big Ten discussing 20-game conference schedule

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told ESPN there have been ongoing discussions about moving to a 20-game league schedule, and Michigan State's Tom Izzo feels as though it's heading in that direction.

"I personally see us going to a 20-game schedule," Izzo told ESPN on Monday. "I don't think there's any question it's going to happen -- and I'm not overly against it."

The Big Ten added two conference games and went from 16 to 18 back in 2007-08.

Delany said the coaches haven't voted on whether to go from an 18- to a 20-game conference slate yet. He said the logistics will have to be figured out, especially with recovery time for the players.

"If we do it, we need to present it in a healthy way," Delany said.

However, Delany said that the move would certainly be favorable to bring more high-profile games to college basketball earlier in the season. It would mean that league play would start in December -- normally a time of year reserved for unbalanced nonconference matchups.

Izzo told ESPN that he would be in favor the change to 20 Big Ten contests -- as long as all of the power leagues do the same.

"If everyone doesn't go to 20 games in the power five, someone will have a major advantage in terms of wins and losses," Izzo added. "When you are only talking about a difference of one game in wins, it's not a big deal. But when you start talking two or three wins, a lot of time they will take the team with the better record."

The ACC announced last July that it intends to move to a 20-game league schedule beginning in the 2019-20 season.

If the Big Ten does go to 20 conference games, it gives less flexibility to the nonconference slate. Izzo is known for playing a difficult non-league schedule each year, but he said he would have fewer opportunities because he'd be locked into 20 league contests, a Thanksgiving exempt event, the Champions Classic, the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and also the Gavitt Games. That leaves likely six nonconference dates.