SEC will start men’s league basketball games just before New Year’s Day

Photo by Arkansas Communications

Friday’s announcement by the Southeastern Conference doesn’t change the Nov. 25 start date for non-conference games, but does start conference play just before New Year’s.

Barely, with Dec. 29-30 as the new start dates for the men’s conference schedule and the women’s date staying on Dec. 31.

The league made the announcement via a press release Friday.

The 2020-21 SEC men’s basketball conference schedule will be comprised of 20 play dates that would accommodate an 18-game schedule with two open dates.

Ten SEC schools will fill one of those open dates with the SEC-Big 12 Challenge in late January. The four teams not participating in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge will play league games that day.

The 2020-21 SEC women’s basketball conference schedule remains at 18 play dates that will fit a 16-game league schedule.

Earlier this month, the NCAA Division I Council approved a Nov. 25 start date for the 2020-21 men’s and women’s college basketball seasons, when the SEC will begin non-conference play.

Teams can begin preseason practice on Wednesday, Oct. 14 and will have a 42-day window to conduct no more than 30 practices.

Information from is included in this story.