Big West to play 20 league games in men's, women's basketball

IRVINE, Calif. -- The Big West Conference will play 20 league games in men's and women's basketball under a modified format that will reduce travel during the coming season because of the coronavirus.

The league announced its schedules on Wednesday.

No spectators will be allowed at games initially, although the league said it will revisit that issue as the season progresses.

The traditional home-and-home round-robin schedule has been altered so that teams will play the same opponent on consecutive days at one site, with the majority of games being played on Friday and Saturday. Each school's schedule will be played over 11 weeks, with a bye week built in.

Games won't be rescheduled if a team needs to quarantine because of the coronavirus during the season. Tiebreaking procedures will be used at the end of the regular season.

Big West play will begin with back-to-back games on Dec. 27-28. The regular season will end on March 6. Men's and women's teams will play the same opponent at opposite venues.

"The Big West Conference understands the need for consistent and multilayered levels of testing protocols that put safety at the forefront for our member institutions,'' commissioner Dan Butterly said. "We feel we have a plan in place that will adhere to those mandates."

Tiebreaking and game management protocols will be announced later.

The league tournament is scheduled for March 10-13 at Honda Center in Anaheim. Eight men's and eight women's teams will compete there.

The NCAA said Nov. 25 will be the official start date for the 2020-21 season. The 11 Big West schools -- Cal Poly, CSU Bakersfield, CSU Fullerton, CSU Northridge, Hawai'i, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara -- have the discretion to decide the number of nonconference games played.