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

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.

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