Several college conferences across the country are preparing for the fall sports season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Big Ten announced on Thursday that it will go to a "conference-only" model for all fall sports. The Pac-12 followed announcing football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball will play only conference games. Earlier in the week, the Ivy League announced no sports would be played until January 1.
More conferences are likely to follow shortly. But after fall sports, what will happen with winter sports and, specifically, with college basketball? Stadium basketball analyst Jeff Goodman conducted an interesting poll.
I polled more than 250 D-1 men's basketball head coaches:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) July 10, 2020
- 42 percent "Still try and play season normal."
- 32 percent "Move to Jan., play both league & non-league games.
- 24 percent "Move to Jan. and only play league games.
- 2 percent "Cancel the Season."
Of the 250 Division I head men's basketball coaches (of a 353 total), 74% want a season with non-conference and conference play. Only 24% of coaches want to push the start of the season to January and play exclusively conference games.
One of the unique aspects of early-season college basketball is the non-conference matchups, sometimes in exotic locations. One of the most notable, the Maui Invitational, is planning to move forward as scheduled.
Sources: The 2020 Maui Invitational is proceeding to be held as scheduled in Hawaii. Contingency plans are being discussed if circumstances arise due to coronavirus.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 8, 2020
Field includes North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Providence, Stanford, Alabama, Davidson, and UNLV.
A handful of local teams are scheduled to travel to tournaments this November. Virginia and Georgetown will both head to Anaheim, Calif. for the Wooden Legacy. VCU is part of an eight-team field at the Charleston Classic and George Mason is reportedly traveling to the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam.
There is plenty to be sorted out before the start of the college basketball season but for now, we will take some optimism from the men on the sidelines.
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