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2020-21 College Basketball Season Set To Begin Thanksgiving Weekend

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The upcoming Men’s and Women’s College Basketball season has a new start date. The 2020-21 season is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

This start date would not impact conferences such as the Pac-12 and Ivy League who have postponed all sports till at least January 1st. But every other league and institution in Division 1 would start on Thanksgiving weekend.

The original opening night for college hoops was November 3rd. This change pushes back the schedule by three weeks.

Last month, the NCAA said they would provide clarity around Mid-September, which falls in line with the reports that emerged. On Wednesday, the Division 1 Council met to hammer out the details. The NCAA has provided no official announcement at the time this story was published.

With the opening night of college hoops now changed, training camp practices will start to open up in mid-October. Six weeks before the start of the season.

The regular season will be reduced by four games from 31 to 27 with the minimum number of games required to play a season set at 13.

College Basketball in the state of Utah

BYU, Southern Utah, Utah State, Utah Valley, and Weber State all should participate in the season –assuming their league’s field winter sports on time– when it opens on November 25th. The status of the Pac-12 season for men’s and women’s basketball is still to be determined.

Last year’s College Basketball season was cut short due to COVID-19. The NCAA canceled March Madness for the first time. The cancellation prevented programs such as Utah State and BYU from participating in March Madness a year ago. USU had an automatic bid, and BYU was set to earn an at-large selection.

NCAA President Mark Emmert has expressed in the past that one of the top priorities for the NCAA is to field championships for the upcoming winter season. The NCAA might even field tournaments in a bubble if needed. Last month, the NCAA sought a trademark request for “Battle in the Bubble,” which might shed light on where things are headed for the upcoming championships in basketball and other sports in the NCAA this winter.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.