NCAA: College basketball can begin season on November 25

NCAA: College basketball can begin season on November 25
Richmond's Nick Sherod waits to shake hands of VCU players after a 77-59 Spiders win on February 15, 2020. (Source: WWBT NBC12)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WWBT) - Thanksgiving week will offer college basketball fans an additional reason to celebrate.

The NCAA Division I Council voted to allow men’s and women’s college hoops seasons to start on November 25. The council zeroed in on the week of Thanksgiving because many schools would be finishing up their fall semesters and the general student body would be departing campuses. With most students gone for the month of December and part of January, the season will have a good chance to get underway with lower risk of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The November 25 date is just a guideline, as programs can select their own start dates following the day before Thanksgiving.

Teams must play at least 13 games to be considered for the NCAA Tournament, and can men’s programs can compete in a maximum of 27 games (24-25 games, plus one multiple team event). Women’s teams can schedule 23 games in addition to a multi-team event, or 25 single games.

Practices may begin on October 14, with 30 practices permitted in 42 days. Teams can also take part in strength and conditioning and skill instruction for up to 12 hours per week beginning September 21 through the start of official practice.

NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said that the plan is still to proceed as scheduled with the NCAA Tournament in March and April, with 68 teams competing at 14 sites.

Richmond finished this past season 24-7 and was the second seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament before it was cancelled. VCU ended the season with a record of 18-13 and was ranked ninth in the conference.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.