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Reports: NCAA to start men's, women's college basketball seasons Nov. 25


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The Central Michigan Women's Basketball Team returns to the floor after a timeout during a game against Toledo in the first round of the MAC Tournament March 11 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH. It was announced Tuesday that the game would not allow general admission into the stadium.

College basketball fans may have their wishes for a season granted sooner rather than later.

The NCAA has pushed the start of its men's and women's college basketball seasons back to Nov. 25, two weeks after its' original Nov. 10 start date. Sources first reported the news on Sept. 16. Reportedly, the NCAA held a Division I Council meeting on Sept. 16 where they voted to approve the later start date. 

"The Division I Council approved moving the first contest date in Division I men's and women's basketball to Nov. 25 for the 2020-21 season," the NCAA's statement read. "No exhibition games or closed scrimmages will be allowed before that date." 

This decision also pushes back the start of official practices, and there are maximum and minimum caps on each team's schedules. Instead of a maximum of 31 scheduled games, teams will have a maximum of 27. The minimum amount of games for each team is 13. The news was first reported by Andy Katz of NCAA.com. 

The changes come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which canceled the Mid-American Conference's football season. The pandemic also led the NCAA to postpone its 2020 winter and spring championships. 

As part of a slew of off-season rule changes, Central Michigan's men's and women's basketball teams are both scheduled to play 20 conference games within the MAC. If this is upheld, that would leave seven open non-conference opportunities. 

On the women's side, coach Heather Oesterle confirmed that Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Michigan and Michigan State were scheduled but did not offer dates. Per the D1 Docket, Central Michigan's men's basketball team had six non-conference games scheduled after Nov. 25. It is unclear how much of either schedule will stay intact following the delayed start. 

More information will be added to this story as it becomes available

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