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College Basketball Starts November 25

It’s Happening

According to several reports, the Division 1 Council is expected to approve a start date of November 25 for college basketball this coming season. With the majority of schools wrapping up their first semester by Thanksgiving, the NCAA has decided the day before Turkey Day is the best choice for a seasons to begin, given they can limit contact with human beings and be in natural bubbles.

Throughout the last week, most non-conference tournaments have tentative plans to move to new locations. Orlando is set to host close to 10 different events, including two that Gonzaga is a part of. The Maui Invitational looks like it will relocate to North Carolina and the Battle for Atlantis appears to be moving to South Dakota.

The official start of full practice is six weeks prior to tip-off, which is October 14. With a firm date set, Athletic Directors will continue their mad scramble to figure out how many non-conference games they can play. For Gonzaga, they are guaranteed four games in Orlando: three in the Orlando Invitational and a game against Tennessee in the Jimmy V Classic. Considering Baylor is also part of the Jimmy V, it would make sense for Gonzaga to play their planned game with the Bears while they’re both in Orlando. Other Gonzaga opponents, Texas Tech and Arizona (if the Pac-12 plays), are also scheduled to be in the Orlando Bubble. There may be a scenario that Mark Few’s squad can squeeze six games in Orlando and perhaps play two regional games to round out the non-conference slate.

Conference commissioners will continue to discuss their plans for a conference season as well. There has been very little information regarding conference plans. By now, typically the dates are set for the WCC schedule. As of now, just the pairings have been announced.

In short, there is still a ton to sort out. However, College Basketball has much better leadership at the highest levels than College Football and they are intent on getting something done. Make no mistake, there will be an NCAA Tournament played in 2021. It may be in April. It might be in May. But there will be a tournament. What happens in order to get there is still to be determined. But we have a start date and it’s November 25, just 70 days from now.