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ACC staying with 16-game sked through 2008

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- The expanded Atlantic Coast
Conference voted to stay with a 16-game conference schedule in
men's basketball through 2007-08.

Television executives had asked the league to consider an
18-game conference slate starting next year, when Boston College
will join the conference and push it to 12 teams. But coaches said
that would limit their ability to schedule nonconference games and
the league voted Wednesday for a 16-game slate.

In recent years, with nine teams in the conference, the ACC has
played a 16-game schedule in which each school plays every other
school twice. That will change starting next season, when Miami and
Virginia Tech join the conference.

Once the league hits a dozen in 2005, teams will play a
three-year rotating schedule under which some conference opponents
will face each other once, and others twice. Under that format,
teams will have two "primary partners" -- rivals it is guaranteed
to play twice each season.

That guarantees rivalries like Duke-North Carolina,
Duke-Maryland, and North Carolina-North Carolina State will be
played twice each season.

Also Wednesday at the conference's annual meeting, the ACC
formalized adjustments to its conference tournament schedules for
men's and women's basketball.

In 2005, with 11 teams, the bottom six teams will play each
other on the first day of the tournament, while the top five get
byes into the second round.

Starting in 2006, the tournaments will open with four games
between the bottom eight teams in the standings. Winners of those
games will advance to face the top four seeds, who will get
first-round byes.