The college basketball season officially tips off next Wednesday. This will be the first time since March 12 that college basketball will be played since the initial coronavirus outbreak shut down the country.
Programs on pause due to COVID-19:
Ivy League (8)
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 19, 2020
The list has changed a bit, as of writing. St. Bonaventure, DePaul, and Creighton have all been added to the programs that have paused practices due to COVID. UConn has resumed practicing today after the team paused due to COVID. There have been around 30 teams that have stopped basketball operations in total, while some are added to the list, and others are taken off.
When there are over 350 Division I college basketball programs, these things are going to happen. Over 90% of Division I programs are still on track to begin the season on time. Unfortunately, some programs have been suffering from positive COVID tests.
Northeast Basketball Programs
Among college basketball programs that on pause are Iona, Canisius, Seton Hall, Niagara, Marist, Albany, Siena, Syracuse, Vermont, UMass, and Delaware. The Ivy League conference has also postponed the 2020-21 college basketball season.
Seven of the listed schools are in New York, along with Seton Hall located in New Jersey. Cornell, Columbia, and Princeton are three Ivy League schools located in New York or New Jersey.
The COVID outbreaks have grown at an exponential rate since college basketball teams began practicing for the season. There is no telling how many more teams can be added to the list, and some programs that have paused basketball activities do not know when they will begin their seasons.
The best these schools can do is hope that the programs can recover quickly and get back to playing. It’s tough when COVID-19 is growing exponentially in 49 of the 50 states, but every program faces these issues.
Outside of the Ivy League, all basketball programs still plan to try and get a college basketball season in as best as possible this year. If the season can survive the current wave of COVID cases going on in the U.S., it should give fans hope that there will be a March Madness tournament.
College Basketball in a Pandemic
As of writing, over 90% of the college basketball programs are set to start on schedule. This is encouraging for the sport as long as teams can remain healthy and socially distant from outside people.
On a college campus, this could still be difficult to do. The NCAA is planning on hosting multiple early-season college basketball tournaments, which could become an issue depending on if an outbreak happens at one of them.
Multiple teams could contract the virus and spread it to its following opponents, how the season gets canceled.
A similar COVID outbreak issue is happening in college football. Close to 10 games have been postponed the last few weeks due to COVID, and college basketball could see numerous games be canceled every week.
Will a college basketball season go on? Yes. How it will look remains to be seen. As long as teams can remain healthy and protocols are put in place to detect COVID early, the season should see its finish.