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West Coast Conference alters schedule, eyes more NCAA bids

SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The West Coast Conference is altering its basketball schedules in hopes of getting better treatment in seeding and at-large bids for the NCAA tournament.

The WCC Presidents' Council announced Monday that the 10-team league will go to a 16-game schedule next season instead of an 18-game double round-robin.

Also starting in 2019-20, all WCC schools will be required to play a multi-team event each season, play more home games than road games and play no more than two non-Division I opponents. The league also must approve all "guarantee" games, when an opponent pays a WCC school to play on the road.

The changes come just weeks after Gonzaga got a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament despite finishing the season ranked eighth in the nation and No. 25 Saint Mary's was denied an at-large bid for the fourth time in 10 years despite winning 25 games.

The league also is changing the format of the men's and women's tournaments. The seventh through 10th seeds will play in the opening round with the two winners meeting the fifth and sixth in the second round. The winners of those games will play the third and fourth seeds in the third round. The top two seeds will get byes straight to the semifinals.