This story is about Published Sep. 20

NCAA Says College Basketball Season Can Start The Day Before Thanksgiving Share This Story On… Twitter



Terrence Antonio James/AP FILE – AUGUST 21, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks players John Collins (0) and Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (12) chat during the final quarter of the game in an NBA preseason basketball game at Philips Arena. (Photo by Terrence Antonio James/AP)

By Emmett Knowlton , Staff Writer Contact Emmett Knowlton on Twitter: @eddieknowlton

The opening two days of the college basketball season are taking place after the first Friday in November. The NCAA has finally changed the game’s format so a matchup between two competitive teams before Thanksgiving isn’t necessary. The rule change comes to an end next season. Regardless of which conference you belong to, any game involving two teams that are part of the same league doesn’t have to be played on Thanksgiving. The rule was initially put in place to alleviate the loss of tournaments during the pre-Thanksgiving weekend that used to start on Friday, Nov. 24. The postseason tournaments would have simply started the following Saturday.

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But the rule was used to excuse close games. That isn’t the case anymore. Conference championship games have been scheduled for Thursday Nov. 24. However, the top two teams in the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC don’t have to play on Thursday. That could open the door for a case for another game day. During conference tournaments, the NCAA sets up the preseason Top 20 as well as the final eight teams in the regular season. A little time together and a few times training could also help smooth the transition to the beginning of the season. The NCAA doesn’t set the schedule for the NCAAs, but the schools with the best regular season records have the best chance of making the field. A case for Missouri, which currently holds the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll, could help with the K-State Wildcats.

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KSU guard Jordan Clarkson sat out most of last season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Clarkson was a candidate for MVP this season, but he didn’t get the recognition he deserved last year. Thursday’s start will certainly help. The league’s teams have a couple weeks to prepare for the opening round, so it’ll be interesting to see how that new scheduling format plays out.

Here are nine other regular season games that are at least on the NCAA schedule for two years. The games were taken off the schedule after Thanksgiving because of scheduling conflicts.

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