NCAA sets November 25 basketball start date, changes FCS playoff

Local Sports

(NEWS10) — The Division I college basketball season will start about two weeks later than originally scheduled on November 25. The NCAA announced the change Wednesday, as it laid out the framework for the 2020-21 season.

Now that the official timeline is in place, the Siena and UAlbany coaches can get to work on scheduling their non-conference games.

“It’s exciting,” said Siena men’s basketball coach Carmen Maciariello. “You know, I think we work with the teams that we already have contracts for and on our schedule whether it’s for home or away games.”

Maciariello has expressed an interest in keeping the Franciscan Cup rivalry game against St. Bonaventure on the schedule as one of the five non-conference games he plans to schedule. Basketball teams can play a maximum of 27 games, down from the typical 31.

UAlbany’s Will Brown said he too has been handcuffed by the lack of direction when it comes to scheduling. The America East conference hasn’t released its scheduling model yet, but Brown anticipates that will come soon now that the NCAA start date is set.

Teams can begin practicing October 14, leaving 42 days to get in a maximum of 30 practice sessions.

In addition to basketball, the NCAA Division I council also revealed the FCS spring season structure, giving UAlbany football more clarity on its suspended season. The Great Danes can play up to eight regular season games in a 13-week span starting January 16.

The playoff format is reduced from 24 teams to 16, giving UAlbany (who made the postseason in 2019) a smaller window for error. The Great Danes can also hold a fall season, similar to spring football, starting Monday until Dec. 31, but the college has postponed all athletic activities indefinitely due to COVID-19 concerns.

The FCS Championship will take place from Apr. 18 through May 15.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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