Patriot League-only basketball begins in January

Sports

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (WSYR) — On Monday, the Patriot League Council of Presidents announced a plan for Patriot League teams to play against each other in January. League play would be contingent on the League and its members being able to play safely.

The 2020-2021 schedule features a reduction in travel and overnight stays. No teams will be allowed to fly to games. Instead of the League’s traditional double round-robin format, teams will play an increased number of games against League opponents in closer geographic proximity.

“We have accomplished the first step in the planning process for the 2021 Patriot League men’s and women’s basketball season,” said Lafayette College President Alison Byerly, Chair of the Council of Presidents. “The Council of Presidents places the highest value and priority on League competition and we believe this model offers the best opportunities for us to conduct a safe and successful League season.”

The 10 Patriot League institutions will be divided into three regional mini-conferences with teams playing four games against each regional opponent. Additional League games will be played outside of the mini-conferences to complete the 16-game regular-season schedule. 

To reduce travel and overnight stays, schools will play against the same opponent on consecutive days, primarily Saturdays and Sundays, with a limited number of exceptions. 

League institutions, other than the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, will be precluded from participating in non-League contests this season. Because Army and Navy are unique in their environments and their missions within higher education, their pursuit of non-League competition, as considered appropriate by their respective Superintendents, is permitted.

The Patriot League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will include eight teams. The men’s quarterfinal round is scheduled for Saturday, March 6, while the women begin quarterfinal-round play on Sunday, March 7. The men’s semifinal round will be played on Wednesday, March 10, followed by the women’s semifinals on Thursday, March 11. The Patriot League men’s and women’s basketball championship games are both scheduled to be played on Sunday, March 14.

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