2020–21 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
Template:Infobox NCAA Division I men's basketball season The 2020–21 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 25, 2020 and is planned to conclude on March 14, 2021. The 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament will culminate the season and begin on March 16 and conclude on April 5, 2021.
Rule changes[edit source | edit]
Season headlines[edit source | edit]
- November 11 – The Associated Press preseason All-American team was released. Iowa center Luka Garza was the lone unanimous selection (64 votes). Joining him on the team were Baylor guard Jared Butler, Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu, Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, Gonzaga guard Corey Kispert (26), and Arizona State guard Remy Martin (26).
- November 15 – The UT Martin Skyhawks announced that head coach Anthony Stewart, who had been set to start his fifth season with the Skyhawks, had died earlier that day. No cause of death was given at the time.
- January 18 – When the AP Poll's Week 9 top 25 rankings were released, it was the first time since December 18, 1961 that neither Duke, Kentucky, nor North Carolina were included on the list. In 1961, the poll was only composed of the top 10 teams.
[edit source | edit]
- October 14 – The NCAA announced that all student-athletes in winter sports during the 2020–21 school year, including men's and women's basketball, would receive an extra year of athletic eligibility, whether or not they or their teams play during that school year.
- October 27 – Bethune–Cookman, which had previously canceled its 2020 fall sports due to COVID-19 concerns, announced that none of its other teams, including men's and women's basketball, would play in the 2020–21 school year.
- November 12 – The Ivy League became the first conference to cancel all winter sports for the 2020–21 season, including men's and women's basketball, due to COVID-19 concerns.
- November 19 – Maryland Eastern Shore became the second MEAC program to opt out of the 2020–21 men's and women's basketball seasons due to COVID-19 concerns.
- December 23 – Chicago State ended its 2020–21 season after an 0–9 start marked by many COVID-19-related issues. Head coach Lance Irvin opted out before the season started due to concerns over the disease; the Cougars played one game with only six available players and another with only seven; and the team's final game before suspending its season was canceled due to a lack of players.
Milestones and records[edit source | edit]
- During the season, the following player reached the 2,000 career point milestone – Austin Peay swingman Terry Taylor.
- November 30 – Kansas took sole possession of the record for most consecutive weeks ranked in the AP Poll. The Jayhawks' 222nd straight appearance surpassed UCLA's 221 from 1966 to 1980.
- December 1 – UC Riverside head coach Mike Magpayo became the first head coach of Asian or Filipino descent to coach and win a Division I game in their 57–42 victory over Washington. Magpayo had missed the Highlanders' season opener on November 25 against Pacific due to the birth of his child.
Conference membership changes[edit source | edit]
Ten schools joined a new conference for the 2020–21 season with four schools leaving Division II for Division I.
On January 14, 2021, the Western Athletic Conference announced the impending arrival of five new members—Abilene Christian, Lamar, Sam Houston State, and Stephen F. Austin, all Southland Conference members located in Texas, and Southern Utah from the Big Sky Conference. Original plans were for all five schools to join in 2022, but the entry of the Texas schools was moved forward to July 2021 when the Southland chose to expel the Texas schools. Southern Utah's entry remains on the original July 2022 schedule. A current WAC member, Chicago State, announced it would leave the conference after the 2021–22 season; it has yet to announce a new affiliation.
Arenas[edit source | edit]
New arenas[edit source | edit]
- James Madison opened the new Atlantic Union Bank Center on November 25, 2020, defeating Division II Limestone 89–55.
- Liberty played its first game at Liberty Arena, winning 78–62 over Saint Francis (PA) on December 3, 2020. The first event at the arena, which had officially opened on November 23, was a women's game on December 1.
Arenas of new D-I teams[edit source | edit]
Three of the four new D-I members for this season are using existing on-campus facilities:
- Dixie State plays in Burns Arena.
- Tarleton State plays in Wisdom Gym.
- UC San Diego plays in RIMAC Arena.
The other D-I newcomer, Bellarmine, announced a multi-year deal with the Kentucky State Fair Board on November 2, 2020 to play home games at Freedom Hall, located at the Kentucky Exposition Center near Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. The arena had been home to Louisville for more than 50 years before that team moved to the downtown KFC Yum! Center in 2010. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Bellarmine could only seat 300 at its on-campus facility, Knights Hall. With Freedom Hall's basketball capacity of 18,252, the Knights will be able to seat 2,700.
Arenas closing[edit source | edit]
- High Point had originally planned to open Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena and Conference Center for the 2020–21 season. However, construction delays brought on by COVID-19 led to the university delaying the new arena's opening until 2021–22, meaning that the Millis Center will be in use for one more season.
- This will be Idaho's final season at the Kibbie Dome, whose basketball configuration is known as Cowan Spectrum. The school plans to open the new Idaho Central Credit Union Arena for the 2021–22 season. The Dome will remain in use for several other sports, most notably football.
Temporary arenas[edit source | edit]
- Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in Santa Clara County, Stanford and Santa Clara have played the majority of their home games at Kaiser Permanente Arena in neighboring Santa Cruz County.
Season outlook[edit source | edit]
Pre-season polls[edit source | edit]
The top 25 from the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls.
Regular season[edit source | edit]
Early season tournaments[edit source | edit]
The Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Nassau, Bahamas was cancelled due to logistical issues associated with COVID-19. A new tournament known as the Crossover Classic is scheduled to be held at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and had invited almost all of the teams that had originally planned to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament (although five teams would later drop out).
On October 26, 2020, ESPN Events cancelled 10 early-season tournaments that it organizes. It had planned to hold them at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando within a protected "bubble" (the same site had recently hosted the remainder of the 2019–20 NBA season under similar circumstances), but The Athletic reported that there had been disagreements over health and COVID-19 testing protocols that had been mandated by ESPN Events (in accordance with recommendations by the CDC), which were stricter than those being adopted by conferences.
Upsets[edit source | edit]
Teams listed in bold type won "true road games", defined as games held at an opponent's regular home court (including regularly used alternate homes).
|San Diego State||73–58||No. 22 UCLA||November 25, 2020||San Diego State MTE|
|San Francisco||61–60||No. 4 Virginia||November 27, 2020||Bubbleville/HomeLight Classic|
|Virginia Tech||81–73OT||No. 3 Villanova||November 28, 2020||Bubbleville/Hall of Fame Tip Off|
|Richmond||76–64||No. 10 Kentucky||November 29, 2020||Bluegrass Showcase|
|Missouri||83–75||No. 21 Oregon||December 2, 2020||Game played in Omaha, NE|
|Marquette||67–65||No. 4 Wisconsin||December 4, 2020||Rivalry|
|Georgia Tech||79–62||No. 20 Kentucky||December 6, 2020||Holiday Hoopsgiving|
|Penn State||75–55||No. 15 Virginia Tech||December 8, 2020||ACC–Big Ten Challenge|
|Missouri||81–78||No. 6 Illinois||December 12, 2020||Braggin' Rights|
|Marquette||89–84||No. 9 Creighton||December 14, 2020|
|Virginia Tech||66–60||No. 24 Clemson||December 15, 2020|
|Purdue||67–60||No. 20 Ohio State||December 16, 2020|
|BYU||72–62||No. 18 San Diego State||December 18, 2020|
|UCF||86–74||No. 15 Florida State||December 19, 2020|
|Northwestern||79–65||No. 4 Michigan State||December 20, 2020|
|NC State||79–76||No. 17 North Carolina||December 22, 2020||Rivalry|
|Minnesota||102–95OT||No. 4 Iowa||December 25, 2020|
|Northwestern||71–70||No. 23 Ohio State||December 26, 2020|
|Maryland||70–64||No. 6 Wisconsin||December 28, 2020|
|Clemson||77–67||No. 18 Florida State||December 29, 2020|
|Tulsa||65–64||No. 5 Houston||December 29, 2020|
|Oklahoma||75–71||No. 9 West Virginia||January 2, 2021|
|Oklahoma State||82–77OT||No. 13 Texas Tech||January 2, 2021|
|Alabama||71–63||No. 7 Tennessee||January 2, 2021|
|Mississippi State||78–63||No. 13 Missouri||January 5, 2021|
|Louisville||73–71||No. 19 Virginia Tech||January 6, 2021|
|Colorado||79–72||No. 17 Oregon||January 7, 2021|
|Purdue||55–54||No. 23 Michigan State||January 8, 2021|
|Ohio State||79–68||No. 15 Rutgers||January 9, 2021|
|Maryland||66–63||No. 12 Illinois||January 10, 2021|
|Oklahoma State||75–70||No. 6 Kansas||January 12, 2021|
|Butler||70–66OT||No. 8 Creighton||January 16, 2021|
|Miami (FL)||78–72||No. 16 Louisville||January 16, 2021|
|St. John's||74–70||No. 23 UConn||January 18, 2021|
|Purdue||67–65||No. 15 Ohio State||January 19, 2021|
|Florida||75–49||No. 6 Tennessee||January 19, 2021|
|Georgia Tech||83–65||No. 20 Clemson||January 20, 2021|
|Providence||74–70||No. 11 Creighton||January 20, 2021|
In addition to the above listed upsets in which an unranked team defeated a ranked team, there have been ten non-Division I teams to defeat a Division I team so far this season:
- November 25: Southern Wesleyan (Division II) defeated USC Upstate, 82–72
- November 27: Queens (NC) (Division II) defeated Howard, 85–71
- November 30: Emmanuel (Division II) defeated Stetson, 64–61
- December 2: Flagler (Division II) defeated Central Michigan, 92–73
- December 6: Greensboro (Division II) defeated Longwood, 67–64
- December 8: Fort Hays State (Division II) defeated Kansas State, 81–68
- December 12: Our Lady of the Lake (NAIA) defeated Texas State, 61–58
- December 19: West Virginia Tech (NAIA) defeated Morgan State, 73–67
- January 9: Northwest Nazarene (Division II) defeated Portland State, 75–72
- January 9: Belmont Abbey (Division II) defeated Charlotte, 75–72
Conference winners and tournaments[edit source | edit]
Statistical leaders[edit source | edit]
Postseason[edit source | edit]
Conference standings[edit source | edit]
Award winners[edit source | edit]
2021 Consensus All-America Team[edit source | edit]
Major player of the year awards[edit source | edit]
Major Freshman of the year awards[edit source | edit]
Major Coach of the year awards[edit source | edit]
Other major awards[edit source | edit]
Coaching changes[edit source | edit]
Two schools changed coaches between their first practice and first game of the season. One coach resigned under pressure and one passed away.
|Northern Illinois||Mark Montgomery||Lamar Chapman||Montgomery was fired on January 3rd after a 1–7 start.|
|UT Martin||Anthony Stewart||Montez Robinson||UT Martin announced Stewart's death on November 15, 2020. The 50-year-old was set to start his fifth season as head coach of the Skyhawks. Two days later, assistant coach Robinson, who was hired by the team in September, was named interim head coach for the 2020–21 season.|
|Wichita State||Gregg Marshall||Isaac Brown||Marshall resigned from Wichita State on November 17, 2020 after 13 seasons following an investigation into reports of physical and verbal abuse of players. Assistant coach Brown was named the interim head coach of the Shockers for the 2020–21 season.|
See also[edit source | edit]
References[edit source | edit]
- John, Marshall; Beard, Aaron (November 11, 2020). "Garza, Butler headline AP preseason All-America team". The Associated Press. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
- "UT Martin Mourns Passing of Head Men's Basketball Coach Anthony Stewart" (Press release). UT Martin Skyhawks. November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
- Negley, Cassandra (January 18, 2021). "Duke, UNC, Kentucky all outside of men's AP Top 25 for first time since 1961". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
- "DI Council extends eligibility for winter sport student-athletes" (Press release). NCAA. October 14, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- Medcalf, Myron (October 27, 2020). "Bethune-Cookman opts for no sports during 2020-21 school year". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
- Borzello, Jeff (November 12, 2020). "Ivy League cancels winter sports season, delays spring play". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Ivy League Outlines Intercollegiate Athletics Plans; No Competition for Winter Sports" (Press release). Ivy League. November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- "Hawk Athletics will not compete in the Spring of 2020-21 athletic year". EasternShoreHawks.com. November 19, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- Borzello, Jeff (December 23, 2020). "Winless Chicago State suspends men's basketball program for rest of season". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
- "Taylor tops 2000 in dominating home win". Austin Peay Governors. December 5, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
- "Gonzaga Bulldogs still No. 1; Villanova Wildcats, Virginia Cavaliers tumble in AP men's Top 25 poll". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 30, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
- "UC Riverside takes down Pac-12's Washington 57-42". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 30, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- "WAC Announces Expansion, Plans to Reinstate Football" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
- Blum, Sam (January 14, 2021). "As WAC announces addition of 5 schools, Frisco-based Southland Conference left in no man's land". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
- "Chicago State University Announces Plan to Leave Western Athletic Conference in June 2022" (Press release). Chicago State Cougars. January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
- Lederman, Eli (January 14, 2021). "UCA to leave Southland Conference, join Atlantic Sun Conference". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
- "Men's Basketball Rocks Limestone in Opener" (Press release). James Madison Dukes. November 25, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "Liberty Defeats St. Francis in First Game at Liberty Arena" (Press release). Liberty Athletics. December 3, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
- "Liberty Arena Officially Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony" (Press release). Liberty Athletics. November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "Lady Flames Roll Past Norfolk State on Liberty Arena's Opening Night" (Press release). Liberty Athletics. December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
- "Iconic Freedom Hall to become home for men's and women's basketball teams" (Press release). Bellarmine Knights. November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
- Newsom, John (March 27, 2018). "High Point University picks on-campus site for new basketball arena, convocation center". News & Record. Greensboro, NC. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
- Newsom, John (August 6, 2020). "High Point University arena project delayed for a year". News & Record. Greensboro, NC. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
- Seimas, Jim (31 December 2020). "Pandemic turns Santa Cruz into hoops haven". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Santa Cruz, CA. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
- Zimmer, Matt. "Crossover Classic: How big-time college basketball landed in Sioux Falls". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
- Zimmer, Matt. "No fans allowed at Crossover Classic". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
- Davis, Seth. "Exclusive: ESPN abandons plan for college basketball bubble events in Orlando". The Athletic. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
- "College basketball tournaments and events in Orlando 'NBA-like bubble' canceled in COVID-19 protocol spat". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
- Bidwell, Jeff (November 17, 2020). "Robinson named UT Martin Interim Basketball Coach". Paducah, KY: WPSD. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
- Borzello, Jeff (November 17, 2020). "Wichita State men's basketball coach Gregg Marshall resigns after abuse investigation". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
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