We are still waiting official word on what the 2020-21 college basketball season will wind up looking like, but the wheels are in motion from the ACC coaches to do something seemingly wild and unprecedented.
According to multiple media reports on Wednesday morning, the ACC coaches voted unanimously to propose an NCAA Tournament next spring that sees every single Division I program (351 schools) involved.
Source: The ACC will propose that ever single team in Division 1 will make the 2021 NCAA Tournament.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 9, 2020
Told there are 346 D-1 teams of the 357 overall eligible for the NCAA tournament.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) September 9, 2020
- Seven are reclassifiers.
- Three are ineligible due to APR.
- Oklahoma State ineligible for tourney.
Why would this be something that is being discussed? The simple answer is that this could wind up being a college basketball season that is played without non-conference games. If everyone played a conference-only schedule, teams may then be seeded and play in bubble environments to get the field from 340-plus down to the field of 68 that we are used to seeing. How they would seed would presumably come down to NET rankings.
Of course, this is completely speculative right now without any models to go from.
This is all in the early stages and does not mention what would happen with conference tournaments, which usually are what would make up the week or two prior to the start of the tournament. An expanded tournament would likely chew up a lot of those dates.
As far as when the season might actually start, we should be getting some direction on that soon. The original planned Nov. 10 start date is still in the mix, but Nov. 25 has been mentioned as the more likely start time for the new campaign.
We’ll have to see what happens here, but if your brain is in a pretzel over how the NCAA could make this work, you are not alone. It all feels like it would be a mess, but such is 2020.