It has been exactly 258 days since conference tournaments around the country were cancelled thanks to the coronavirus, but now fans can rejoice because college basketball is officially back.
After what feels like an eternal break from the sport, Wednesday marks the start of the season and features a slate of games from morning to night for what will essentially be non-stop action all day long.
But, it’s not possible to watch every single game, so The Virginia Star has you covered. Here are some of the games to keep your eyes on.
Let’s first start with teams from the Commonwealth for all the local college basketball fans.
Liberty University faces the challenge of playing Big 10 opponent Purdue at 6 p.m., while Virginia Military Institute plays St. Andrews at 7 o’clock.
Just like Liberty, Old Dominion is squaring off against a Big 10 opponent in Maryland, who despite being unranked finished first in their conference last season. The game can be heard locally in Virginia on WJFN Radio, 100.5 FM, 92.7 FM and 830 AM.
Virginia Commonwealth University plays Utah State at 9:30 p.m. in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic on ESPN2. University of Richmond was supposed to meet Detroit Mercy in the Bluegrass Showcase, but that game has been canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test in the Titans program.
From the Atlantic Coast Conference, Virginia Tech faces Radford at noon and No.4 Virginia takes on Towson at 1:30 p.m.
Other games featuring teams in the Associated Press Top-25 include: No.7 Wisconsin vs. Eastern Illinois, No.5 Iowa vs. North Carolina Central, No.10 Kentucky vs. Morehead State and No.3 Villanova vs. Boston College, among others.
The marquee matchup of all the college basketball games taking place over the holiday comes on Thursday afternoon when No.1 Gonzaga faces No.6 Kansas in what should be an extremely competitive, exciting contest.
Nevertheless, due to positive COVID cases across multiple programs, like Detroit Mercy, there are several games that have already been postponed or cancelled.
No.2 Baylor was supposed to play No.18 Arizona State Wednesday night, but Baylor head coach Drew Scott tested positive and the team is no longer traveling to the venue. No.9 Duke was set to play Gardner-Webb, but that game is now postponed.
Overall, 20 college basketball games have either been cancelled or postponed so far.
Even though a chunk of opening day games won’t be played, the return of college basketball will still be just as exciting, and fans should enjoy all the action they can in what will inevitably be a turbulent season full of unknowns.
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