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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Houston to Compete in 20-Game American Schedule

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Coogs to face 10 league rivals in round-robin format starting in December

POSTED: October 7, 2020 -- 10:45 a.m. CT

For the first time in school history, the University of Houston Men's Basketball program will compete in a 20-game conference schedule, Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson announced Wednesday morning.

The scheduling format consists of 20-game, double round-robin conference schedules in both men's and women's basketball for each of The American's 11 member institutions.

Last month, the NCAA Division I Council announced, in men's basketball, teams can schedule 24 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to three games; 25 regular-season games and participate in one multiple-team event that includes up to two games; or 25 regular-season games if a team does not participate in a multiple-team event.

Conference play in men's basketball will begin with three windows for games in December (December 14-17, December 21-23 and December 28-31).

The plan was developed in consultation with The American's athletic directors, senior woman administrators and COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group and was approved unanimously by the member institutions.

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"This format provides a sensible and fair path for all of our men's and women's basketball teams in what will be a challenging upcoming season," American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco said. "It allows each of our teams to play a consistent number of conference games and will ensure that they are competing against teams that are utilizing our strong health and safety protocols."

The Cougars have played 18-game conference schedules in each of their first seven seasons in The American.

The American's Men's Basketball Championship will be held March 11-14 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

The full conference schedules, along with television selections and game times, will be announced at a later date.

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