College basketball has a nationwide start date, but much remains unknown about how schedules will take shape for the University of Rhode Island and teams around the country.
The NCAA’s Division I Council last week approved the moving of the first contest date to Nov. 25, from its previous Nov. 10 start. No exhibition games or closed scrimmages will be allowed before that date. Teams and conferences will make determinations on the actual logistics of scheduling. The Atlantic 10 conference reportedly will play non-conference games in addition to its league season, though it announced earlier this week that the challenge series with the Mountain West Conference has been canceled for this season.
The cancellation of the challenge takes at least one non-conference game off URI’s schedule. The Rams had been slated to host Boise State on Dec. 6 at the Ryan Center.
URI’s preliminary schedule also included five games that were to be played before Nov. 25, three of which were part of the Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament. URI was scheduled to open the season against Drexel on Nov. 10 before matching up with Quinnipiac on Nov. 13. The Hall of Fame tourney was set to begin Nov. 18 at home sites and continue Nov. 21 and 22 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
With Mohegan Sun mentioned as a possible site for a “bubble” tournaments, it seems likely the Hall of Fame event will be rescheduled in some shape or form.
Outside of that event, URI also had December games on the schedule with Seton Hall and Brown. No date had been set for the annual matchup with Providence College.
The matchup with Boise State would have provided URI with a quality opponent, which was the intent of the A-10/Mountain West Challenge. This was to be the inaugural year for the event. Matchups are slated to be rescheduled for the 2021-22 season. The parameters of the challenge will remain the same with 10 institutions (20 total teams) from each conference facing off in early December, five at A-10 arenas and five at Mountain West venues. The challenge is a two-year agreement with an option to extend.