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Pac-10 adopts 9-game football slate

Associated Press

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – The Pac-10 will add a ninth game to its conference football schedule in 2006 and also expand the men’s basketball tournament to include all 10 teams.

The moves announced Monday were adopted by the league’s chief executive officers at their annual summer meetings in Portland, Ore.

The decision to add a game to the conference football schedule came in response to the NCAA’s decision earlier this year to add a 12th game to the schedule. Starting in 2006, each Pac-10 team will play nine conference games and three non-conference games.

Some teams will have five conference home games in a season, while others will have only four. It will mark the first time since 1977 that the league has had a full round-robin schedule, eliminating the chance that two teams that did not play could tie for the conference title and the league’s automatic Bowl Championship Series bid.

The conference also approved a recommendation by the basketball coaches and athletic directors to expand the men’s basketball tournament to 10 teams starting next season, adding a fourth day to the tournament.

Previously, only the top eight teams were invited. Starting with next year’s tournament in Los Angeles, the top six teams will get a first-round bye as the bottom four play off for spots in the quarterfinals.

The conference also voted to use instant replay on an experimental basis in football games this season in a system similar to the one used last season in the Big Ten. Replay will be used in all conference games and non-conference games when the visiting team agrees.

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