Here is the statement from the ACC:
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford announced today that beginning in the 2012-13 season the league will play an 18-game conference schedule in men's and women's basketball.
"Our member institutions have been talking about this increase for awhile and knowing our league will be expanding to 14 in the future, we've decided to move to an 18-game conference schedule next year, regardless of our membership number," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "The additional conference games create a more equitable schedule and we've received significant feedback from our fans for more conference games."
This move has been discussed ever before the ACC announced the addition of Syracuse and Pitt to the ACC. One of the prevailing thoughts is ACC teams will reap the benefit of a better strength of schedule but will that really be the case? Possibly for schools like Virginia Tech who constantly end up on the bubble, in part, due to poor non-conference scheduling. For UNC it might result in a weaker SOS in general. Adding two conference games means taking away one road and one home non-conference game. Which games get axed? It stands to reason the tougher matchups will be discarded. If you apply an 18 game conference schedule to this season which non-conference games would have been pinched? The game at UNC-Asheville? The home game with Texas? Maybe even a game at Kentucky. In fact these types of scheduling concerns if what led UK's John Calipari to suggest that the UK-UNC might be done. Roy and UNC in general have maintained a policy of playing a top flight non-conference schedule but I have my doubts about dropping two lower tiered opponents in favor of two more ACC games, one of them on the road. It also means the ACC schedule will creep backwards into December which I don't care for.
Of course those of us who long the days of the round robin this does get you a tad closer back to that, at least until the league goes to 14 then it will be pretty much what it is now.