Jacob Wiegand
Brigham Young Cougars forward Luke Worthington (41) and forward Yoeli Childs (23) grab for the ball during the team's matchup against the Santa Clara Broncos at the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

PROVO — The West Coast Conference recently announced it is changing the men's basketball schedule from 18 games to 16 games to enhance the league's national profile.

On Wednesday, the league released the schedule for the 2018-19 season.

BYU tips off the WCC season Jan. 3 with a game at Pacific, followed by a contest at Saint Mary's Jan. 5.

Other highlights of the Cougars' schedule include a home game against national power and perennial WCC champ Gonzaga on Jan. 31 and a visit to the Zags on Feb. 23.

BYU is slated to host Saint Mary's on Jan. 24.

As part of the new scheduling policy, WCC teams will play only 16 conference games.

The schedule is based on a league formula including multi-year team RPI, last year's WCC seedings and a spring survey of the WCC's 10 head coaches.

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BYU will face Santa Clara (at home, Jan. 12) and Pepperdine (on the road, Jan. 17) only once. Perennial WCC champion Gonzaga plays Pepperdine (at home) and Portland (road) only once. The Waves finished last in the WCC last season.

Saint Mary's plays Portland (home) and Loyola Marymount (road) only once.

The WCC Tournament will take place at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas March 7-12, 2019.

The new 16-team scheduling matchups don't impact the women's schedule. The women will continue the traditional 18-game, double round-robin league schedule in 2018-19.