While the NFL, NHL, NBA, and college football are in full swing, college basketball remains in limbo. The college basketball season typically begins in early November which is about six weeks from today. However, with all of the changes brought on by COVID-19, the NCAA had to adjust just like the rest of the world. With that being said, the NCAA Board of Directors has decided on November 25th as the new start date for the 2020 NCAA basketball season.
Revised 2020 NCAA Basketball Start Date
There have already been numerous changes this season. Many preseason tournaments have moved locations in search of a bubble inside the United States, most recently with the Battle 4 Atlantis moving to South Dakota and the Maui Invitational moving to North Carolina.
Changing the NCAA basketball season start date makes a lot of sense. Teams have not been able to practice outside of individual workouts, for the most part. Typically, September brings on the beginning of true team practices and a basketball season. While we are now two weeks through September, that would mean we are about two weeks late on starting the basketball season. This leaves no choice for the NCAA to move the start date by a few weeks.
The date is interesting. Many colleges chose to change their school schedule around so students are on campus until Thanksgiving and then have a prolonged winter break. That time period has been considered a golden period to play college basketball. During this winter period, only winter sports athletes would be on campus and COVID-19 transmission could be controlled in a much greater manner than during the typical college semester.
What Happens Next?
There is still so much to figure out. There are ongoing changes to preseason tournaments. Conferences are deciding whether or not they will play any non-conference games or solely a conference slate. The NCAA tournament may even look different with the ACC pushing for an all-inclusive 346 team NCAA tournament.
All those questions can be scary, but this start date is extremely important. It is the first solid piece of evidence that a college basketball season is on the horizon and very possible. Once coaches can get their teams into the gym and start to practice, basketball will truly begin. Until then, let’s keep everyone healthy and safe and wait for November 25th.
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