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NCAA decides start date for college basketball

It looks like Gonzaga's season will start in Orlando.
Credit: AP
Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert (24) drives the ball while pressured by Eastern Washington guard Casson Rouse (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. Gonzaga won 112-77. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

SPOKANE, Wash. — The NCAA made several decisions pertaining to college basketball on Wednesday.

The most important being the sport's start date, which will be November 25. This date was picked because the majority of colleges have asked their students to remain at home after Thanksgiving break, therefore lowering the risk of coronavirus spread. This date was also picked due to a plethora of Thanksgiving weekend tournaments beginning around that time.

Gonzaga is one of the schools involved in a Thanksgiving weekend tournament. They will play in the Orlando Invitational, which begins November 26. In all likelihood, their first round match up in that tournament will be their first game of the season. The bracket for the tournament hasn't been announced yet, but the field has. It will include Michigan State, Auburn, and Xavier among other schools. It is widely considered to be the best Thanksgiving weekend field for 2020.

There is no word from the Pac-12 yet if they will walk back their ruling that no sports can start until January 1. Obviously, that would have a huge impact on their basketball programs.

The NCAA also ruled that the number of regular season games will be reduced from a maximum of 31 to 27, while the minimum number of games to qualify for the NCAA Tournament will be 13. Schools will not be allowed to play exhibition games or scrimmages this year as well.

Teams can start doing full practices on October 14, while beginning next Monday they can start practicing up to 12 hours per week.

The NCAA also extended its ban on in-person recruiting visits until January 1, 2021. That means that recruits cannot currently visit college campuses.

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