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Andy Wittry | | November 16, 2020

2020 college basketball calendar: Schedule, first games, NCAA tournament dates

NCAA: Details on 2021 March Madness sites being relocated

The college basketball season is quickly approaching, but the start of the season will look a little bit different in 2020 compared to years past.

The start of the season was delayed and many early season games will be played on a neutral court, and the location of some multi-team events (MTEs) has been adjusted. 

Here are the important dates to know about the 2020-21 men's and women's basketball season. All are subject to change and we'll update this article as more dates and schedules are announced.

Nov. 16, 2020 — NCAA announces tournament is relocated

The NCAA announced that it is relocating the preliminary NCAA tournament sites to one location and that NCAA staff is in preliminary talks with the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis. Indianapolis was previously scheduled to host the Final Four.

Nov. 25, 2020 — The men's and women's seasons begin

On Sept. 16, the NCAA Division I Council approved Nov. 25 as the start date for the first men's and women's basketball games of the season. The original start date for the season was Nov. 10. The men's NIT Season Tip-Off will start on Nov. 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Nov. 26, 2020 — Wooden Legacy tournament 

University of Kansas Marcus Garrett. Marcus Garrett, of Kansas.

The 2020 Wooden Legacy field is a loaded one — Georgetown, Kansas, UCLA and Virginia. Play begins on Nov. 26 in Anaheim and finishes the next day.

Nov. 29, 2020 — The Big 12-Big East Battle tips off

The preseason No. 2 Baylor men will visit Seton Hall in the first game of the Big 12-Big East Battle, which is in its second year. All 10 schools in each conference will square off, with each conference having five teams playing at home and five teams playing on the road.

Nov. 30, 2020 — The Maui Invitational begins

The men's basketball Maui Invitational will be held in Asheville, North Carolina, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event starts Nov. 30 and ends Dec. 2. Teams in the field are: Alabama, Davidson, Indiana, North Carolina, Providence, Stanford, Texas and UNLV.

Here's the Maui bracket for this year:

Here is the 2020 Maui Invitational bracket


Dec. 2, 2020— Big 12 women's basketball conference play begins

The Big 12 women's basketball conference will open on Dec. 2 starting with Iowa State at TCU on Dec 2, 2020. 


Dec. 5, 2020 — A matchup between preseason No. 1 and No. 2

Men's preseason No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor will meet in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, Dec. 5 in what could be the biggest matchup of the regular season.

Dec. 12, 2020 — ACC play begins

The ACC's 20-game conference schedule begins on Saturday, Dec. 12 with Syracuse at Boston College. ACC women's conference play begins Dec. 9.

Dec. 29, 2020 — SEC, Mountain West begin men's conference play

Men's basketball conference play in the Southeastern Conference will begin Dec. 29-30. The SEC's plan is to have 20 possible play dates for an 18-game schedule and two open dates. 

The Mountain West's 18-game league slate will kick off on Tuesday, Dec. 29. Every school will play nine home games and nine road games.

Dec. 31, 2020 - SEC, Mountain West start date for women's conference play 

The Southeastern Conference for its women's basketball tournament is scheduled for Dec. 31, 2020. The conference schedule will still be 18-play dates that will fit a 16-league schedule. 

The Mountain West will also start on Dec. 31, 2020 to compete in an 18-game league schedule, including nine home games and nine away games. 

Dec. 31, 2020 – Men's West Coast Conference play begins

The first conference games in the West Coast Conference, which is home to potential preseason No. 1 Gonzaga, tip off on Thursday, Dec. 31. BYU and Pepperdine are matched up on the first day of the conference season, as are San Diego and San Francisco.

Feb. 6, 2021 — North Carolina at Duke men's basketball

Saturday, Feb. 6, will mark the first meeting of one of the greatest rivalries in the sport as North Carolina goes to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face Duke.

March 3, 2021 — Start of the women's ACC tournament 

The 2021 ACC Women's Basketball tournament will be at the Greensboro Coliseum for the 21st time in the last 22 years on March 3-7, 2021. 

March 9, 2021 — Start of the men's ACC tournament

The 68th ACC tournament is scheduled to tip off on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

March 14, 2021 — Selection Sunday for the men's tournament

The 2021 men's NCAA tournament bracket will be revealed on Selection Sunday, which is March 14, 2021.

March 15, 2021 — Selection Monday for the women's tournament

The 2021 women's NCAA tournament bracket will be revealed on Selection Monday, March 15.

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March 16, 2021 — First Four begins

The First Four begins, marking the first games of the 2021 men's NCAA tournament. Here is the complete March Madness 2021 schedule, which is contingent upon the finalized relocation plans for the preliminary sites in the tournament.

Round Date
Selection Sunday March 14
First Four March 16-17
First/Second March 18 and 20
First/Second March 18 and 20
First/Second March 18 and 20
First/Second March 18 and 20
First/Second March 19 and 21
First/Second March 19 and 21
First/Second March 19 and 21
First/Second March 19 and 21
Sweet 16/Elite Eight March 25 and 27
Sweet 16/Elite Eight March 25 and 27
Sweet 16/Elite Eight March 26 and 28
Sweet 16/Elite Eight March 26 and 28
Final Four April 3 and 5

March 19, 2021 — Women's tournament first round begins

Regionals will be played from March 26-29, 2021. Specific dates for each regional are TBD. Here is the complete women's NCAA tournament schedule:

Selection Show Monday, March 15 N/A N/A
First Round
(Round of 64)
Friday, March 19
Saturday, March 20
Campus sites Campus sites
Second Round
(Round of 32)
Sunday, March 21
Monday, March 22
Campus sites Campus sites
Albany Regional
(Sweet 16, Elite Eight)
TBD Albany, New York Times Union Center
Austin Regional
(Sweet 16, Elite Eight)
TBD Cedar Park, Texas H-E-B Center at Cedar Park
Cincinnati Regional
(Sweet 16, Elite Eight)
TBD Cincinnati, Ohio Cintas Center
Spokane Regional
(Sweet 16, Elite Eight)
TBD Spokane, Washington

Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena

Women's Final Four
National Championship
Friday, April 2
Sunday, April 4
San Antonio, Texas Alamodome

April 3, 2021 — Men's Final Four in Indianapolis

The men's Final Four in Indianapolis will tip off with the national semifinals April 3. It will be the first time the Final Four has been held in Indianapolis since 2015.

April 5, 2021 — Men's national championship game

The 2021 men's national championship game will determine the men's basketball national champion.

April 2 & 4, 2021 - Women's Final Four in San Antonio 

The women's Final Four and national championship will be hosted at the Alamodome in San Antonio on April 2 & 4. 

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