The AAC took one step closer to returning to the court for the first time since its conference championship was canceled in March. On Wednesday, the conference announced its plans for the 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball seasons after a scheduling format and a timeline for a return to play were unanimously approved by AAC athletic directors, senior woman administrators, the COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group and member programs.
A 20-game, double round-robin conference schedule will be used for both men’s and women’s basketball. Previously, men’s teams would play 18 conference games and women’s teams would play 16 league games.
AAC men’s basketball will begin with three windows for games in December — Dec. 14-17, Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-31. Women’s basketball will begin conference play with four windows in December — Dec. 14-17, Dec. 18-20, Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-31.
For the first time in conference history, both the men’s and women’s championships will be held in the same city and venue. At the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, the women’s tournament will run from March 8-11, and the men’s tournament will be played March 11-14.
“This format provides a sensible and fair path for all of our men’s and women’s basketball teams in what will be a challenging upcoming season,” conference commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “It allows each of our teams to play a consistent number of conference games and will ensure that they are competing against teams that are utilizing our strong health and safety protocols.”
Full conference schedules, TV selections and game times are set to be announced at a later date.
Both USF men’s and women’s basketball officially returned for team workouts in September.