NCAA announces official start date for basketball season

The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball oversight committee decided Wednesday to make Nov. 25 the official start date for the upcoming season.

The date is a guideline for individual schools and conferences, and some may elect to start later. There has been no word from the West Coast Conference or BYU about scheduling yet, with several BYU games scheduled before the Nov. 25 start date.

The start date gives a six-week window for the college basketball season to begin with most students away from campus and home for the holidays.

“By Thanksgiving week, the date of Nov. 25, 76% of all Division-1 schools will have either finished their fall semester completely or released the general student body for in-person instruction,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball, in a webinar last week.

A decision was not made on the early-season tournaments and events or the non-conference games scheduled for the month of December.

Gavitt said the NCAA was considering “bubbles” and controlled environments, similar to what professional leagues such as the NBA are doing, for certain non-conference tournaments.

BYU was scheduled to play in the Junkanoo Jam, a four-team tournament in the Bahamas from Nov. 17-21. The Cougars were also set to play Arizona State in the third annual Jerry Colangelo Classic at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Dec. 19.

The college basketball preseason will officially begin Oct. 14, 42 days prior to the start of the season. There will be no scrimmages or exhibitions allowed between teams during the preseason.

Teams can begin practicing up to 12 hours a week, with eight hours on court, on Sept. 21.

The NCAA plans on holding the NCAA Tournament as scheduled, with 68 teams and 14 sites. They decided a maximum of 27 games and a minimum of 13 games need to be played in order to be eligible for the tournament.

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