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NCAA Basketball Season To Begin November 25

Update, 7 p.m.: The NCAA officially confirmed Wednesday night that the Division I men’s and women’s basketball seasons will start November 25. The delayed start will allow schools to better control the coronavirus on campus, as most students will be home for the semester.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” explained NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”

The NCAA also offered additional insight into the season’s scheduling plans. Men’s basketball programs will have to choose from one of these three options:

  • 24 regular-season games and up to three games in a multi-team event.
  • 25 regular-season games and up to two games in a multi-team event.
  • 25 regular-season games without playing in a multi-team event. 

For women’s programs, the guidelines are slightly different:

  • 23 regular-season games and up to four games in a multi-team event.
  • 25 regular-season games without participating in a multi-team event.

These scheduling choices confirm an earlier report that teams will be capped at 27 games, a four-game decrease from last year. The Division I Council also recommends that teams play a minimum of four nonconference games.

Original Story: The NCAA has reportedly approved November 25 as a start date for its men’s and women’s basketball seasons, according to CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein.

According to Rothstein, organized team practices would begin October 14, which will be six weeks prior to tipoff. No other information regarding coronavirus testing, attendance, or scheduling is currently available.

Meanwhile, according to NCAA.com correspondent Andy Katz, teams would be capped at playing 27 regular-season games, a four-game decrease from 2019. Programs must play a minimum of 13 regular-season games.

Additionally, the Division I Council reported recommended teams play a minimum of four non-conference games. Exhibitions and scrimmages are off the table, too.

Rothstein said the reportedly approved start date came out of a meeting by the NCAA’s Division I Council. The NCAA had previously announced that it would make a final decision by mid-September, which turned out to be right on the money.

Should the season truly begin in late November, it would be a few weeks later than tradition. Last year, Penn State men’s basketball began its season on November 5.

Penn State men’s basketball will try to keep the momentum going after a breakthrough 2019-20 season. The Nittany Lions were a lock for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011 and climbed as high as No. 9 in the AP Poll. Although the team is losing its stars in Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins, a strong young core presents another promising year.

The Lady Lions are in a much different boat, coming off an abysmal year in which they finished 1-17 in conference play. The roster has been completely flipped over the off-season due to players transferring both in and out of the program. Star Kamaria McDaniel was the team’s biggest offseason loss.

We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected].

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