Nov 23, 2020 - Sports

Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux

An image of a basketball with a face mask on it.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With the college basketball season slated to begin on Wednesday, 35 men's teams are currently in "pause" and quarantining, per Stadium's Jeff Goodman.

Details: Schedules are in constant flux as schools prepare to fly across the country. Take Illinois State, which was supposed to be in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Wednesday, but will now be in Columbus, Ohio.

Between the lines: Some women's teams have no more than a handful of games scheduled and others are "lining up bus rides and home-and-home series like they're in baseball's minor leagues," AP's Doug Feinberg reports.

  • Coaches are so desperate to fill out their schedules that some have taken to Twitter to try and find games.
  • Others have set up group texts so that if a game gets canceled, they can quickly set up a new game with someone else.
  • "[We] all agreed that if we have an opening we'll play. We'll figure it out if it's home or away, things like that," said Louisville coach Jeff Walz.

The state of play: "The most effective organizing structure in college basketball right now, hilariously, seems to be the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut," New York Magazine's Will Leitch writes.

  • Starting Wednesday, the casino will host 45 Division I games — both men's and women's — over 11 days in a semi-bubble environment after purchasing nearly 5,000 COVID-19 tests.
  • Baylor coach Scott Drew is the latest coach to test positive, so the No. 2 ranked Bears will open the season at Mohegan Sun without him.

The last word: "We don't know a lot of things," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. "We know we're going to have March Madness [and] a regular season. We just don't know much about both — and it's a hell of a way to run a railroad."

No Cameron Crazies this year. Very sad.

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