2020-21 NCAA men’s basketball season tip-off date revealed
The NCAA has reportedly chosen its date for the start of the 2020-21 college basketball season.
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported the season will begin on Nov. 25.
Sources: The 20-21 college basketball season will officially begin on November 25th. https://t.co/CFPd32fePB
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 16, 2020
Rothstein also reported the decision was made Wednesday after a meeting of the Division I Council. Practices will begin on Oct. 14, six weeks prior to the official season tip-off.
It remains to be seen what kind of precautions the NCAA will take to guard against the spread of COVID-19. Fans are unlikely to be allowed to attend, especially considering the games—unlike football or baseball—are played indoors.
There is also the question of scheduling, which became all the more pertinent after the Pac-12 Conference canceled all sporting events through the remainder of the calendar year. Given the NCAA’s intention to start at the end of November, this would preclude Pac-12 teams from taking part in the first month-plus, unless a new arrangement is reached.
Then there is the proposal from ACC coaches asking for the NCAA to implement an “all-inclusive” tournament at the end of the year (via Jeff Borzello of ESPN):
What has thrown a wrinkle into this plan is the ACC coaches coming out unanimously — as well as unilaterally — and proposing an all-inclusive NCAA tournament featuring every single Division I team. Part of the reason for that proposal, sources told ESPN, is that a number of ACC coaches don’t want to play nonconference games this season. There is a disparity in the testing protocol of the power conferences and the smaller conferences, which has made plenty of the bigger schools concerned about nonconference games.
More details are likely to follow after Wednesday’s official announcement.
But for now, it seems the NCAA is comfortable enough with proposed testing procedures and logistics to pencil in a late-November start date.