Way back in March when the NCAA announced that it would be cancelling March Madness, no one knew what the future of college basketball or college sports was going to look like.
Now, we are just over one month away from one of the most anticipated returns to college basketball ever. This week, Division I teams were given the green light by the NCAA to commence preseason practices.
Giving programs 42 days and a maximum of 30 sessions to prepare for the upcoming season. Tip off of the 2020-21 season has been delayed two weeks from its initial date, now getting underway on November 25th.
From November through to March teams will have their chance to qualify for the NCAA tournament. With the 32 conference championship teams gaining automatic entry, the remaining teams (36 men’s, 32 women’s) will rely on a selection committee to award them a wildcard spot in the tournament.
Selection Sunday (men’s bracket release) and Selection Monday (women’s bracket release) will take place on the 14th and 15th of March, with the NCAA tournament scheduled to tip off on March 16th.
The cancellation of March Madness in 2020 marked the first time that the event had been missed since its inception in 1939, making the 2021 NCAA tournament one of the most anticipated sporting events in collegiate history.
Take a look at the top 10 men’s teams as it stands in October:
1. Gonzaga (+1000)
POTY Contender: Drew Timme (Sophomore, Forward)
2. Duke (+1000)
POTY Contender: Jalen Johnson (Freshman, Forward)
3. Kentucky (+1000)
POTY Contender: BJ Boston (Freshman, Forward)
4. Baylor (+1200)
POTY Contender: Jared Butler (Junior, Guard)
5. Virginia (+1200)
POTY Contender: Sam Hauser (Senior, Forward)
6. Kansas (+1200)
POTY Contender: Marcus Garrett, (Senior, Guard)
7. Villanova (+1200)
POTY Contender: Collin Gillespie (Senior, Guard)
8. Michigan State (+1800)
POTY Contender: Aaron Henry (Junior, Guard)
9. Creighton (+2000)
POTY Contender: Marcus Zegarowski (Junior, Guard)
10. Florida State (+2000)
POTY Contender: Scottie Barnes (Freshman, Guard/Forward)
*POTY = Player of the Year
*Odds correct at time of publication.
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Image by: Phil Roeder