Everything We Know About The NCAA Schedule So Far

The 2020-2021 season tips off in nine days, but some conference schedules are still up in the air

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NCAA women’s basketball finally returns on November 25, and many teams from different conferences will be showing out on the first day of the 2020-2021 season. 

The shortened season will feature several revised schedule formats that prioritize team health and safety and cut down on travel and other expenses. At least 14 conferences are playing a variation of a two-game series with the same opponent and the same location. Schedules that have been released aren’t set in stone either. Some conferences have revised the schedule or format since making a formal statement, while other conferences have yet to finalize a schedule at all. 

And while this Thanksgiving won’t have as many tournament matchups, there will still be some events during the weekend that you won’t want to miss. 

Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Division I season so far: 

November Multiteam Events:

Gulf Coast ShowcaseFlorida Gulf Coast will have home court advantage for the #BeachBubble played at FGCU’s Alico Arena. Teams will play three games November 27-29 and the tournament will be streamed on FloHoops. The pool features three teams ranked in the AP Top 25 preseason poll. All game times are eastern standard time. 

Friday, Nov. 27

Saturday, Nov. 28

  • Wake Forest vs. Davidson – 11:30 a.m.

  • FGCU vs. Arkansas (14) – 2:30 p.m.

  • Maryland (12) vs. Missouri State (24) – 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 29

  • Davidson vs. FGCU – 11:30 a.m.

  • Missouri State (24) vs. Wake Forest – 2:30 p.m.

  • Arkansas (14) vs. Maryland (12) – 5:30 p.m.

Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge — Mohegan Sun Arena will host the annual event as part of its “Bubbleville,” hosted in a controlled bubble environment, on November 28 and 29.  If UConn and Mississippi State both win their first games, they’ll face each other on November 29.

November 28

November 29

To be announced

Bad Boy Mower Crossover Classic — Half of the pool teams are ranked in the AP Top 25, including top-seeded South Carolina. Despite finishing last season 29-2, undefeated in Summit League play, and No. 17 on the final AP Top 25 poll, South Dakota did not make the cut for this year’s preseason poll (although they did receive 21 votes). South Dakota and South Carolina will face off for the second year in a row to tip off the classic. 

November 28

  • South Carolina (1) vs. South Dakota - 3:30 p.m.

  • Oklahoma vs. Gonzaga (21) - 6 p.m.

November 29

  • Oklahoma vs. South Carolina (1) - 3:30 p.m.

  • Gonzaga (21) vs. South Dakota - 6 p.m.

November 30

  • South Carolina (1) vs. Gonzaga (21) - 3:30 p.m.

  • South Dakota vs. Oklahoma - 6 p.m.

South Point Shootout — The two-day event will be held at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on November 27 and  28. There has been no formal announcement from the event organizers, but four schools have the event listed on their schedules — West Virginia, BYU, Lamar, and LSU.

November 27

November 28

  • Lamar vs. Fresno State - 4 p.m.

  • LSU vs. West Virginia - 6:45 p.m.

  • BYU vs. UT Martin - 9 p.m.

Power Six Schedules: 

Atlantic Coast Conference - The ACC released the conference schedule on November 11. Each team will play 20 games, two more than last season, beginning on December 9. The conference will take on a regional format with three divisions. Along with divisional matchups, teams will play five home and five away games against non-divisional opponents and two additional non-divisional games split between home and away, with a few exceptions.

  • The ACC announced on October 30 that the annual Big Ten/Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Challenge will not happen this year.

  • Louisville Cardinals have five non-conference games scheduled so far, including a matchup against UConn on December 4 in Mohegan Sun Arena, but they will not play Kentucky in its annual rivalry matchup.

  • NC State, the 2020 ACC tournament champs, will face South Carolina in December, featuring a matchup between star sophomores Elissa Cunane and Aliyah Boston.

Big East Conference: The Big East has announced the league schedule for December, and Big East commissioner Val Ackerman said the conference expects to resume play on December 30. 

  • All eyes will be on UConn, who returns to a new Big East after never losing a conference game in seven American Athletic Conference seasons. The Huskies have six non-conference games scheduled. UConn will play three games at Mohegan Sun Arena, including a matchup against Louisville, to kick off the season. The team will face Baylor and Tennessee on the road, and finish non-conference play in February with a home game against South Carolina. 

  • While only a few conference games have been announced so far, UConn will have a tougher time staying undefeated in the Big East. The DePaul Blue Demons won their fourth conference title in 2019 and are ranked 19 in the AP Top 25. Marquette went 15-3 in conference play last year and lost to DePaul by one point in the Big East Tournament Championship. 

Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten has yet to release any details about a conference schedule, but Maryland and Purdue have non-conference matchups posted on their website. While there have been no formal announcements from the conference, Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Lisa Bluder said that she expects to play 20 Big Ten games, and teams can play a maximum of five non-conference games. 

  • Maryland’s only non-conference slate published is the Gulf Coast Showcase matchups, while Purdue has a few matches scheduled

  • According to the Eastern Illinois schedule, Northwestern and Minnesota will both face the Panthers during non-conference play. 

Big 12 Conference: The Big 12 season will begin on December 2 with a double round robin format. Each team will play two league games before the holiday break, and the season will conclude on March 1. The league scheduled the following week for any games that need to be made up, and the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship is set for March 11-14 at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium. 

  • The Kansas State Wildcats' non-conference slate features seven total games including a home matchup against Kentucky.

  • Texas, led by new coach Vic Shaefer, will face two SEC opponents this season. The Longhorns match up against Texas A&M on December 6 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge and face Tennessee at home on December 13. 

Pac-12 Conference: The Pac-12 increased conference games for women’s basketball from 18 games to 22 games, but no other schedule details are currently available.  

  • While Oregon was originally scheduled to face off against Baylor this season, the game has since been canceled. 

  • No team has any non-conference game for the 2020-2021 season confirmed on its website.

Southeastern Conference: SEC play begins December 31 with a 16-game conference slate for each team.

Mid-Major Schedules:

America East Conference: America East released its schedule on November 2. The league anticipates a 23-game schedule with 18 conference games. To cut down on travel, conference games will be played as a weekend series with back-to-back games hosted by the same opponent. Conference play is slated to begin on December 19, and open weekends have been figured into the schedule for any postponed games. 

American Athletic Conference: The AAC has yet to release a schedule, but the format will consist of a double round robin schedule with 20 games. South Florida, who ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ preseason poll, has four non-conference games on the schedule, including a game against Baylor at home on December 1. According to The Oracle, South Florida will play Mississippi State at home and head coach Jose Fernandez hopes to add another top-25 RPI matchup. 

Atlantic 10 Conference: The conference released schedule pairings in August, but a schedule hasn’t been finalized. Each team will face each conference opponent at least once and three teams twice.  

Atlantic Sun Conference:  ASUN announced a 16-game weekend series format hosted by one opponent with games on Saturday and Sunday. The composite schedule includes various non-conference games, and league play is set to begin on New Year’s Day and end on February 28.

Big Sky Conference: The Big Sky season will consist of 20 games in a similar single-site format, but with some differences. Teams will play Thursday and Saturday games against the same opponent with each school playing four rivals twice at home and four rivals twice on the road. Each school will also play two teams in a split series with one home and one away game. The first conference matches begin December 3 and 5 and are set to wrap up by March 6. All teams will have one open weekend during the season with no games scheduled. 

Big South Conference: On November 4, the Big South announced its conference schedule, which also has a revised format to accommodate safety and limit travel. The conference will stick with a double round robin format with 20 games, but will host games on consecutive days at a single site. The back-to-back contests against the same team are not limited to just weekends. The Big South also built some flexibility into the schedule to make up any games impacted by the pandemic. In case teams have player availability affected by COVID-19, the two-game series requires only seven players to start and at least six players to play the second game if necessary. 

Big West Conference: Conference teams will play the same opponent on consecutive days at one location. The majority of games will take place on Fridays and Saturdays, and games won’t be rescheduled if a team needs to quarantine or postpone because of the pandemic. League tie-breaking procedures will determine standings at the end of the regular season if necessary. Big West play tips off with the first two-game series on December 27 and 28, and wrap up on March 6.  The CSUN Matadors will not play this year after canceling its women’s basketball season because of player opt-outs.

Colonial Athletic Association: On October 14, the CAA announced its league schedule, which also takes on a new consecutive game series format against the same team in the same location. The conference slate consists of 18 games and is set to start on New Year’s Day, and most two-game series will be played on Saturdays and Sundays. Each team has a designated travel partner who they’ll play once at home and once on the road, with flexibility for a day off in between. James Madison, who finished the regular season 25-4 last year, has a few notable non-conference games scheduled against Marquette, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

Conference USA: C-USA announced a revised scheduling format on November 5. Teams will play an 18-game conference schedule. According to the league, “schools will play two games per visit at four select C-USA campuses, and will host four teams for a two-game series. Teams will also have a home-and-home opportunity with a designated rival opponent.” Conference play will tip off January 1, and every school except for Rice, Middle Tennessee, and UTEP has published an official schedule for the regular season. 

Horizon League: The Horizon League announced its schedule on November 4. The schedule will include a back-to-back game series format similar to other conferences. Schools will have five home weekends and five road weekends to play 10 of 11 other Horizon League teams. The conference slate begins December 12-13 and each school will play 20 league games. 

Ivy League: The Ivy League is the first conference to cancel all winter sports for 2021. The league cited the current trends regarding transmission of the COVID-19 virus and subsequent protocols as reasons for making the decision. Non-conference games and sports for the remainder of 2020 were already canceled before the league’s recent decision.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference: The MAAC has yet to release any schedules, but the format has been announced. Teams will play a 20-game double round robin schedule that consist of back-to-back games at the same venue, totaling five home series and five away series. The league has also reserved a make-up week for the second-to-last week of the regular season. 

Mid-American Conference: The composite schedule is available on the MAC website with conference play scheduled to begin on December 30. 

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference: MEAC team schedules (including non-conference matchups) are available, and Norfolk State and Morgan State are slated to play on opening day. Bethune-Cookman, who went 22-6 overall last year, will not play this year as the school has opted out of all sports. 

Missouri Valley Conference: MVC schools are playing an 18-game conference slate with a home and away contest for each opponent. Conference play will kick off on December 31 and is scheduled to end March 6. 

Mountain West Conference: The Mountain West released the original schedule on October 9 but announced changes on November 9 to accommodate safety and reduce travel. Conference games have increased from 18 to 20 games and will feature a two-game series format against the same opponent in the same week. Teams will have one day in between series games and play five home series and five road series. The revised schedule hasn’t been released yet, but league play is expected to begin in December and end in February to accommodate any make-up games needed. 

Northeast Conference: The conference has yet to release any schedule details.

Ohio Valley Conference: Conference schedules increased from 18 to 20 games this season, with teams facing every OVC team at least once and nine schools twice. According to the league, schools were given discretion to schedule their two conference games with their “travel partner” separate from the remainder of the schedule. One of those non-conference games must occur before the holiday break. The composite schedule with known non-conference games is available on the OVC website. 

Patriot League: The Patriot League will significantly reduce travel and overnight stays by not permitting air travel and dividing teams into three regional mini-conferences. The 16-game slate includes four games against regional rivals, and teams will play back-to-back games against the same opponent. Aside from the Navy and Army, Patriot League members will not play any non-conference games. The season begins on January 2. 

Southern Conference: The league’s eight teams will play a 14-game double round robin format beginning on January 7. 

Southwestern Conference: The conference has not announced any formal details about the schedule, but Grambling State, Alabama State, Jackson State, Prairie View, Southern University, and Texas Southern have all released schedules that include league and non-conference play.

Sun Belt Conference: To minimize travel, the 12 schools will be split into two regional divisions and only play those opponents during the regular season. Conference play begins January 1 with Friday and Saturday games against the same opponent in the same location. 

Summit League: The Summit League will also play eight back-to-back game series starting January 2. South Dakota, the favorite to win the Summit League title, will play South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Gonzaga in November, but doesn’t have any other non-conference games scheduled. 

West Coast Conference: WCC play will consist of 18 games over a 10-week span beginning December 28. Gonzaga, BYU, Saint Mary’s, Pacific, Pepperdine, and LMU have all released non-conference games. 

Western Athletic Conference: The WAC schedule format will also feature back-to-back games against the same opponent in a single location. Each team will play four home series and four road series over the course of nine weeks. The WAC has also updated the composite schedule, and three teams will be playing on November 25: Chicago State vs. North Dakota State, UT Rio Grande Valley vs. Texas Tech, and California Baptist vs. Fresno State.

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