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Andy Wittry | | January 19, 2021

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

How the 2021 NCAA bracket will work, explained by Andy Katz

The college basketball season will look a little bit different in 2020-21 compared to past years.

The start of the season was delayed and many early season games were 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. 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. 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.

COACH SPEAK: 7 insights from John Calipari, Mark Few and Tom Izzo on college hoops in 2020

March 18, 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 Dates LocationS
Selection Sunday Sunday, March 14  
First Four Thursday, March 18 Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
First Round Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 Mackey Arena, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium
Second Round Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22 Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Lucas Oil Stadium
Sweet 16 Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse
Elite Eight Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30 Lucas Oil Stadium
Final Four Saturday, April 3 and Monday, April 5 Lucas Oil Stadium

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.

Iowa State women's basketball snaps No. 6 Baylor's 61-game home win streak

Iowa State women's basketball ended Baylor's 61-game home win streak with a 75-71 win on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Baylor beats Texas Tech on late surge, 68-60

No. 2 Baylor used a late-game scoring surge to hold off No. 15 Texas Tech 68-60 on Saturday, Jan. 16.

Here's just how good some of the top men's basketball teams are after a timeout

The numbers show Baylor is at a huge advantage when the Bears get to draw up a play during a timeout.

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