Could Utah begin the college basketball season in South Dakota?

Ryan Kostecka

Utah will no be longer heading to the Bahamas.

In an official statement released last week, the officials of the annual Battle 4 Atlantis tournament have issued a one-year hiatus due to the ongoing spread and devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Press Release from the Battle 4 Atlantis officials

But it appears Utah will be traveling elsewhere to begin the college basketball season — if it ever gets approval from the Pac-12. 

According to sources, the same teams will now be playing in an 8-team tournament at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls and no longer in the Bahamas.

Originally scheduled to play the week of Thanksgiving from Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Friday, Nov. 27, the new dates and new name of the tournament has yet to be announced. But as Rothstein alluded, all eight of the teams originally scheduled to play in the Bahamas will be playing in South Dakota.

There is optimism in Pac-12 circles that its presidents and chancellors could approve of an earlier start date than what is currently in place (Jan. 1). If they allow teams to compete on Nov. 25, the same start date as the rest of the college basketball season, then Utah should find itself playing in the new tournament.

Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak knows what he's talking about when regarding the potential for an upcoming season. He is one of two Pac-12 coaches on a 35-person committee, made up of mostly medical professionals, who have been meeting to discuss multiple possibilities for playing college basketball in early 2021.

“Our medical team in the Pac-12 has been unbelievable — they would win any championship you could create,” he said. “Their projections are that these numbers are supposed to diminish by November.”

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