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Playoffs expand

The Japan Times

The bj-league playoffs will expand to eight teams next season, the league announced on Thursday.

Four Western Conference teams and four Eastern Conference teams will advance to the playoffs, an increase of two from the 2007-08 season. The Nos. 1 and 4 seeds will square off in the first round, as will the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds. The winners will compete in the conference semifinals. The conference champions will meet in the title game.

The regular season expands to 52 games next season, an increase of eight from the 2007-08 season. The league adds two teams — the Shiga Lakestars and Hamamatsu Higashi Mikawa Phoenix, the latter of which defected from the JBL after last season — to the mix in the fall.