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Report: WCC ‘Actively Exploring’ Las Vegas Bubble For College Basketball Season

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 09: Basketballs are shown in a ball rack before a semifinal game of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament between the San Francisco Dons and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Orleans Arena on March 9, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Could we see BYU playing all of its WCC games in Las Vegas during the upcoming college basketball season? It’s possible.

WCC to play College Basketball season in Las Vegas?

The Oregonian’s John Canzano tweeted on Friday that a source tells him the West Coast Conference is “actively exploring the creation of a bubble/pod in Las Vegas” for this 2020-21 season.

According to Canzano, one scenario is that both the men’s and women’s teams from the WCC teams would be in Las Vegas and play games on alternate days. Another proposal is to play the season in two-week periods.

The West Coast Conference is a 10-member league where basketball is its moneymaker sport. Portland, the WCC’s resident cellar-dweller in recent years, has yet to start practices this season due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Oregon. The Pilots are one of only two Division I programs that have yet to start practice; the other is Portland’s crosstown rival, Portland State. Oregon’s Governor hasn’t addressed why the Pilots or the Vikings can start practicing.

So one could point to Portland as to why the WCC would be exploring a Las Vegas bubble. The states within the WCC footprint have had some of the slowest returns to play since the novel Coronavirus began back in March. Fall competition within the WCC was postponed due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A decision regarding the change of location for conference games would have to come from the WCC’s Presidents’ Council and consultation from the league’s 10 athletic directors and Commissioner Gloria Nevarez.

The WCC released the men’s and women’s conference schedules two weeks ago, with games scheduled to be played at the home venues of league members beginning on December 31st for the men. WCC women’s schedule begins three days earlier on December 28th.

College Basketball in 2020-21 begins on November 25th. BYU has games lined up against UVU on November 28th and the Multi-Team Event Legends Classic in Connecticut, which features UConn, USC, and Vanderbilt, all from power conferences.

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

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