On Monday, the NCAA announced four options for the possible start day to their season:
The @NCAA is reportedly down to four viable options for the start date of College Basketball. This is all subject to change (of course), but this is where we stand today:
— Rocco Miller (@roccomiller8) August 24, 2020
So November 10, 11, 25 and December 4 are all possible start days to the season. Normally college hoops would start on or around that November 10 day, but which of these four is the best option? First, I’m not even sure what the NCAA is going to do about college basketball right now. I think their main concern is football and trying to get that started. But we have heard some good things about the college hoops season being a success. We have heard directly from Senior VP of Basketball, Dan Gavitt, that March Madness will happen this year and he seems pretty optimistic that this season will happen.
Now what will the season look like? Who knows. But what we do know is that basketball is way more ahead than football is. I mean for starters, we never even got an official plan from the NCAA regarding football and its safety measures. All we got was the Big-10 and Pac-12 cancel their seasons, while we have the ACC, SEC, and Big-12 all set to play come September. It’s a whole shit show. But at least with basketball we have four options that can work but the big thing here is practice times.
If the season were to start on November 10, then the first “official” practice would be September 29. I say “official” because we all know what captain’s practices really are. Regardless of what option they choose each first practice is going to be about 5-6 weeks before their first game. Which seems fair enough. It gives the coaches ample time to get their guys in shape and ready for the long season. However, this is very contingent on how these games will be played.
The elephant in the room with college sports this year is going to be “who will play a conference only schedule?” Whether you like it or not, this is going to happen. And if you play a conference only schedule, that means less games…
So, with that being said what is the best option? The NCAA and Dan Gavitt, along with the conferences, are going to have to find a way where all teams play an exact number of games. Right now, a typical college team will play somewhere between 27-32 games in a regular season and about 60% of those games come within conference. But can you stretch that to a full 100%? If you take the ACC for example, each team would have 14 games if they played each opponent once. Which is already a downgrade to some teams playing each other twice. Let’s take a look at a smaller conference in the Big East where they will only play 9 games. You would have to then make each team play one another twice. Not only will this have an affect on the sizes of each conference but also tournament seeding.
And speaking on the tournament, which start date gives the coaches enough time to play a season and then walk right into March Madness? If we stay looking at the ACC with it’s 14 games and you play one game a week starting in either November than you have your season done by February. For a team who has championship aspirations, that is a death sentence considering the tournament doesn’t start until third week in March. So if we are logically thinking about the best way to do this with all the possible what-if’s happening then the right start date would be December 4 or even maybe a week or two later.
Look it’s simple, the coaches are going to want to play a season and roll into March Madness. What they definitely don’t want is for their team to play and then have to sit and wait for a month until the tournament. And if Gavitt is set on keeping the tournament then they need to set a date and start scheduling.
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