"My thing on that is, fill it up. It would be great," he said. "I was there this year. The competition was great. If we're good enough to get into the finals against Gonzaga if that happens to be what it is, let's see. I want to see it full. I want to see it busting at the seams. If that's the case, then we might have to move. That would be a great problem to have."
For BYU, it eliminates the problem of potentially facing UNLV on its homecourt, as was the case in the MWC.
The 2012 WCC Tournament will open Feb. 29, with play-in games between the No. 8- and No. 9-seeded teams. The top two teams in the tournament will enjoy double byes and one-round advances give to the No. 3 and No. 4 teams. In other words the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds automatically play in the semifinals.
The ESPN factor
On June 8, the WCC and ESPN announced an eight-year contract extension that was described as the "best deal signed by any non-BCS league" by Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.
The contract will give the WCC at least 48 men's basketball appearances on the ESPN family of networks — 10 more than the conference has averaged the previous three years.
How many of BYU's conference games will be on the Worldwide Leader?
"It depends. No contracted amount on how many BYU can be in," Holmoe said. "The contract between ESPN and the WCC is not finalized. There will be a definite number of games that they'll do. It depends on how good we are."
Zaninovich points out that ESPN helped facilitate the Kentucky-Portland game and a Loyola Marymount-Florida State contest this past season.
"It's much more of an art than a science," he said. "ESPN has such a portfolio of games and TV windows that they want to fill with their partners. We don't just talk about nonconference games, we talk about nonconference games with ESPN as part of that. I know Tom and Dave Rose have been back to Bristol, Conn., (ESPN headquarters) to understand about how that works. That will help them from a scheduling perspective."
Certainly, BYU's success in recent seasons, particularly this past year with consensus national player of the year Jimmer Fredette, enhanced the Cougars' worth, as well as the WCC's.
"The WCC is a premier conference, recently made even better by the addition of Brigham Young University," said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president in charge of college sports programming. "This agreement allows us to showcase more WCC content than ever before to fans through all our networks and platforms, and via any available technology or device."
Scheduling and travel
The WCC basketball schedule is expected to be released sometime this summer. Conference play will begin Dec. 29 to accommodate nine teams playing each other twice. It is expected that the nine WCC teams will play a double-round-robin format with 16 games during the regular season.
It is also expected that the WCC will continue its Thursday-Saturday format for most games, though each team is expected to play on a Monday night contest as well.
The WCC used to have travel partners for basketball, but that dissolved with the ESPN contract.
"We're very mindful of number of flights a team has. Those are certainly considerations," he said. "The travel partner model is designed mostly as a logistical tool to limit the number of times you're traveling to different regions. There are other ways to control that besides the travel partner model. The schedules will look a little different. Our coaches realize that."
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