NCAA to make September decision on the start of college basketball season

The college basketball regular season is scheduled to begin on November 10, but a final decision on the start date is expected to come in September.

“I think at this point we’re probably looking at some time in September, having to make decisions about whether we stick with the plan to start on Nov. 10 or consider other alternatives,” NCAA senior vice president Dan Gavitt told Andy Katz. “And we’ll continue to look at those alternatives and contingencies.”

USF is scheduled to start its season Nov. 10 in the Yuengling Center against Florida A&M.

Despite MLB, MLS, NASCAR the NBA, NHL and WNBA have begun or restarted during the pandemic, things continue in flux for college sports.

The Autonomy Five conferences announced amended schedules for the 2020 football season that either eliminate non-conference games entirely or — in the case of the ACC and Big 12 – allow for one non-conference game.

We need to learn. We need to see how the fall sports, football in particular, start, how the NBA finishes their season, and then Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball, NHL and we’re doing that,” Gavitt said.

A few college basketball coaches, most notably Iona head coach Rick Pitino, have suggested starting the college basketball season in January to buy more time for a vaccine. Connecticut head coach Danny Hurley, whose program left the American Athletic Conference on June 30, said it is “hard to comprehend” playing games in November.

Suggestion to the NCAA, push the start of the season back to January and only play league games. Buy some more time for a vaccine and to get things under control. Although I can’t wait to be back on the sidelines, the health of my players and staff is what’s really important.

— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) July 1, 2020

Indiana head coach Archie Miller said last week that he is preparing his players to begin in November, but realizes it may be a later start than that.

“What’s the contingency plan, obviously, if our season is to start on time? Which, we’re operating as if it will. If it doesn’t what’s the contingency plan on that,” he said during a media availability on Zoom.

In either of those scenarios, expects more programs from the ACC, Big Ten, Big Twelve, SEC and Pac-12 to receive at-large bids due to a combination of conference strength of schedule and NCAA NET rankings resulting from a larger number of quad one and quad two games.

Which, obviously, would be detrimental to a program like USF.

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