2020–21 NCAA Division I men's basketball season

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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.

The season was initially slated to begin on November 10, 2020, but was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which prematurely ended the previous season.

Rule changes[edit source | edit]

Season headlines[edit source | edit]

COVID-19 pandemic-related[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.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • 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.[6][7]
  • 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.[8]
  • 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.[9]

Milestones and records[edit source | edit]

  • During the season, the following player reached the 2,000 career point milestone – Austin Peay swingman Terry Taylor.[10]
  • 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.[11]
  • 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.[12]

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.

School Former Conference New Conference
Bellarmine Great Lakes Valley Conference (D-II) Atlantic Sun Conference
Cal State Bakersfield Western Athletic Conference Big West Conference
Dixie State Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (D-II) Western Athletic Conference
Kansas City Western Athletic Conference Summit League
NJIT Atlantic Sun Conference America East Conference
Purdue Fort Wayne Summit League Horizon League
Robert Morris Northeast Conference Horizon League
Tarleton State Lone Star Conference (D-II) Western Athletic Conference
UC San Diego California Collegiate Athletic Association (D-II) Big West Conference
UConn American Athletic Conference Big East Conference

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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

On that same day, Central Arkansas athletic director Brad Teague told media that the school would leave the Southland for the Atlantic Sun Conference after the 2020–21 school year.[16]

Arenas[edit source | edit]

New arenas[edit source | edit]

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:

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.[21]

Arenas closing[edit source | edit]

Temporary arenas[edit source | edit]

Season outlook[edit source | edit]

Pre-season polls[edit source | edit]

The top 25 from the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls.

Ranking Team
1 Gonzaga (28)
2 Baylor (24)
3 Villanova (1)
4 Virginia (1)
5 Iowa
6 Kansas
7 Wisconsin
8 Illinois
9 Duke
10 Kentucky
11 Creighton
12 Tennessee
13 Michigan State
14 Texas Tech
15 West Virginia
16 North Carolina
17 Houston
18 Arizona State
19 Texas
20 Oregon
21 Florida State
23 Ohio State
24 Rutgers
25 Michigan
USA Today Coaches
Ranking Team
1 Baylor (12)
2 Gonzaga (10)
3 Villanova (3)
4 Virginia
5 Kansas
6 Iowa (1)
7 Wisconsin
8 Duke (1)
9 Kentucky
10 Illinois
11 Creighton
12 Michigan State
13 Texas Tech
14 Tennessee
15 West Virginia
16 North Carolina
17 Arizona State
18 (tie) Houston
18 (tie) Florida State
20 Oregon
22 Texas
23 Rutgers
24 Ohio State
25 Alabama

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).[25][26]

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.[27][28]

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).

Winner Score Loser Date Tournament/Event
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:

Conference winners and tournaments[edit source | edit]

Statistical leaders[edit source | edit]

Postseason[edit source | edit]

Conference standings[edit source | edit]

Template:2020–21 America East Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 American Athletic Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Atlantic 10 men's basketball standings
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Template:2020–21 Conference USA men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Horizon League men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 MAAC men's basketball standings
Template:2020–21 Mid-American Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 MEAC men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball standings
Template:2020–21 Mountain West Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Northeast Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Ohio Valley Conference men's basketball standings
Template:2020–21 Pac-12 Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Patriot League men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Southeastern Conference men's basketball standings
Template:2020–21 Southern Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Southland Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 SWAC men's basketball standings
Template:2020–21 Summit League men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 Sun Belt Conference men's basketball standings Template:2020–21 WAC men's basketball standings
Template:2020–21 West Coast Conference men's basketball standings

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.

Team Former
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.[2] Two days later, assistant coach Robinson, who was hired by the team in September, was named interim head coach for the 2020–21 season.[29]
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.[30]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. John, Marshall; Beard, Aaron (November 11, 2020). "Garza, Butler headline AP preseason All-America team". The Associated Press. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "UT Martin Mourns Passing of Head Men's Basketball Coach Anthony Stewart" (Press release). UT Martin Skyhawks. November 15, 2020. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 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.
  4. "DI Council extends eligibility for winter sport student-athletes" (Press release). NCAA. October 14, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  5. Medcalf, Myron (October 27, 2020). "Bethune-Cookman opts for no sports during 2020-21 school year". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  6. Borzello, Jeff (November 12, 2020). "Ivy League cancels winter sports season, delays spring play". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  7. "Ivy League Outlines Intercollegiate Athletics Plans; No Competition for Winter Sports" (Press release). Ivy League. November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. "Hawk Athletics will not compete in the Spring of 2020-21 athletic year". EasternShoreHawks.com. November 19, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  9. Borzello, Jeff (December 23, 2020). "Winless Chicago State suspends men's basketball program for rest of season". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 27, 2020.
  10. "Taylor tops 2000 in dominating home win". Austin Peay Governors. December 5, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  11. "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.
  12. "UC Riverside takes down Pac-12's Washington 57-42". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 30, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
  13. "WAC Announces Expansion, Plans to Reinstate Football" (Press release). Western Athletic Conference. January 14, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  14. 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.
  15. "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.
  16. Lederman, Eli (January 14, 2021). "UCA to leave Southland Conference, join Atlantic Sun Conference". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  17. "Men's Basketball Rocks Limestone in Opener" (Press release). James Madison Dukes. November 25, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  18. "Liberty Defeats St. Francis in First Game at Liberty Arena" (Press release). Liberty Athletics. December 3, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  19. "Liberty Arena Officially Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony" (Press release). Liberty Athletics. November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  20. "Lady Flames Roll Past Norfolk State on Liberty Arena's Opening Night" (Press release). Liberty Athletics. December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  21. "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.
  22. 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.
  23. Newsom, John (August 6, 2020). "High Point University arena project delayed for a year". News & Record. Greensboro, NC. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  24. Seimas, Jim (31 December 2020). "Pandemic turns Santa Cruz into hoops haven". Santa Cruz Sentinel. Santa Cruz, CA. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  25. Zimmer, Matt. "Crossover Classic: How big-time college basketball landed in Sioux Falls". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  26. Zimmer, Matt. "No fans allowed at Crossover Classic". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  27. Davis, Seth. "Exclusive: ESPN abandons plan for college basketball bubble events in Orlando". The Athletic. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  28. "College basketball tournaments and events in Orlando 'NBA-like bubble' canceled in COVID-19 protocol spat". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  29. Bidwell, Jeff (November 17, 2020). "Robinson named UT Martin Interim Basketball Coach". Paducah, KY: WPSD. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  30. 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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