NCAA Division One Council sets College Basketball start date


Kentucky head coach John Calipari discusses a play with his team during a timeout in the game against Florida on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 65-59. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Hunter Shelton

The uncertainty of college basketball’s start date is no more; but it is later than typical.

The NCAA Division 1 Council voted today to push the start of the 2020-2021 season back from November 10th as one of many precautions being taken due to COVID-19. The season will now begin on November 25th, which is the day before Thanksgiving.

The men’s season usually features numerous opening tournaments in the first weeks of the year, including the Maui Invitational, Battle 4 Atlantis and Champions Classic – featuring Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State playing at a neutral site – among others. Most of those events will be attempted at bubbles across the country, with the Champions Classic potentially occurring at the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, which is where the NBA Playoffs have commenced. 

A majority of Division One schools will be finished with fall semester by the new beginning of the season, allowing them the chance to get seasons underway in the safer environments. 

The NCAA also lowered the maximum number of regular-season games from 31 to 27, and will not allow scrimmages or exhibitions between teams. Players will be able to start practicing on October 14th.  

The council is set to meet again the day prior to that date (October 13th) to evaluate any potential new developments with COVID-19, and make another change if necessary.