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MAAC will move to 18-game schedule in 2016-17, according to report

This signals the end of the double-round-robin conference structure.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The MAAC will move from a 20-game league schedule to an 18-game schedule starting this season, sources told Joshua Newman of the Asbury Park Press.

An official announcement is expected soon. Newman says that could come as soon as this week, when MAAC presidents vote on it.

The move represents the end of the double-round-robin structure for the 11-team conference. It will now have to move to an unbalanced schedule, where presumably, each team would have eight home-and-home opponents, one home-only opponent and one road-only opponent.

Newman reported a week ago that the change could be enacted eventually, but the league was locked into a 20-game schedule for the coming season, making today's news a surprise to many.

Over the past two years with the 20-game schedule, conference play began with each team playing two games in early December. Newman reports those games will be scraped, leaving just the 18 post-New Year’s conference games for each school.

At this point, teams are finalizing their non-conference schedules, and Monmouth has even released its full slate, so this late announcement could present a challenge for coaches -- it suddenly leaves two more games to fill and, as the summer wears on, fewer teams available to play.