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Pac-12, SWAC to play home-and-home games in men's basketball

 Pac-12 men's basketball teams "will start to travel to play the SWAC's historically Black colleges and universities," as programs from each league "will stage home-and-home games" beginning in '22, according to Alan Blinder of the N.Y. TIMES. The partnership is unusual because Power Five programs "usually build their nonconference schedules around neutral site matchups that are made-for-TV showdowns against big-name brands." The new plan, which calls for no money to change hands, "will see SWAC schools hosting at least one high-profile nonconference game, potentially attracting more attention and ticket-buying fans to their universities." League execs expect that "all of the games, which are to be played early in each season, will be televised." SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland said that the league has "never had such an agreement with a Power 5 conference." In '22, Southern will play at Arizona, Florida A&M will visit Oregon and Alabama State will travel to USC. McClelland still expects SWAC teams "to travel for so-called guarantee games that lead to big payouts." Meanwhile, Pac-12 leaders "welcomed the home-and-home agreement." Stanford AD Bernard Muir predicted it would "open our eyes and our fan bases to an opportunity that we don't traditionally get." Officials said that some SWAC schools are "considering playing their home games under the arrangement at bigger, off-campus arenas in their areas." Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said conference officials "hope to look at similar opportunities" in other sports (N.Y. TIMES, 9/20).

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