NCAA Announces LSU, College Basketball Set to Start 2020 Season on Nov. 25
The NCAA Division I Council voted on Wednesday that the 2020 college basketball season will tip off starting on Nov. 25. As part of its vote, the council stated that no preseason scrimmages or exhibition games can be held before that date, falling in line with what many other professional sports leagues like the NFL have adopted.
Included in the restructured season, Division I teams can play a maximum of 25 games during the regular season and a minimum of 13 games to qualify for the NCAA championship tournament. This also includes one built in multiple-team tournament for teams to compete in.
"The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season," NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said. "It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships."
As mentioned in the statement, most students will be off campus once Thanksgiving holiday rolls around as the end of the fall semester. It's the perfect time for LSU to squeeze in its non-conference schedule and attempt to start the conference slate as well.
The one issue that will be determined in the coming weeks and months is a finalized schedule. We still don't know if there will be a shortened SEC schedule as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In normal years, 31 regular season games has been the allotted amount but with 24-25 games being the max, the Tigers might have to cut games from the non-conference schedule, depending on how many SEC games are allowed.
LSU is slated to take on Hofstra, ULM, North Texas, Louisiana Tech and VCU in non-conference play as well as participating in the Holiday Hoopsgiving showcase and the Gotham Classic tournament in December.