From a blimp flying over Disney World to a Barbershop within the blue walls of the “bubble,” we’ve been watching all of the news coming out of the NBA “bubble” since some of our favorite basketball teams resumed the 2019-2020 NBA season in Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Although the NBA conference finals will be wrapping up soon, it seems MORE basketball may be on its way to Disney World.
According to ESPN, conference and team sources have said that ESPN is “planning to move at least eight of its men’s college basketball events to the ESPN Wide World of Sports property at Walt Disney World.”
ESPN notes that at least eight of the 10 nonconference events that ESPN runs in November and December “are expected to take place in Orlando this year.” Specifically, the 8 events that ESPN reports are expected to move to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex are the following:
- Champions Classic: Duke, Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky
- Charleston Classic: Charleston, Florida State, Houston, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Seton Hall, Tennessee, VCU
- Myrtle Beach Invitational: Charlotte, Dayton, Loyola Chicago, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn, Pitt, Utah State
- NIT Season Tip-Off: Arizona, Cincinnati, St. John’s, Texas Tech
- Wooden Legacy: Georgetown, Kansas, UCLA, Virginia
- Orlando Invitational: Auburn, Belmont, Boise State, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Siena, Saint Louis, Xavier
- Jimmy V Classic: Gonzaga, Tennessee, Baylor, Rutgers
- Diamond Head Classic: Arizona State, Hawaii, North Texas, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Saint Mary’s, Seattle, Temple
According to team sources who spoke with ESPN, the protocols that will be in place for these college events are expected to be different than the ones used for the NBA’s bubble. It’s anticipated that these college basketball events will begin on November 25th, which is the start of the 2020-2021 college basketball season.
The events are expected to run for the first two weeks of the season, according to ESPN. The specific dates on which the events will take place are still unknown. ESPN reports, however, “there will be events overlapping during those two weeks, with up to three games going on at once.”
ESPN also notes that there is a potential for “crossover games” where teams from different events may actually play against each other outside of their scheduled events. Although sources have indicated that ESPN’s events are expected to include the teams originally scheduled, some issues, including scheduling uncertainty with certain teams, could force the operators of the events to revisit this issue.
Overall, the nonconference slate for college basketball is expected to take place in “controlled environments across the country.” Bubbles in Houston and Atlanta and other locations have been proposed.
We’ll definitely be interested to see what the protocols will look like if college basketball does come to Disney World. How will the arrangement differ from the NBA bubble? Will we see more barbershops or other items unique to the college basketball events around Disney World? Will there be college basketball merch? We’ll keep an eye on more information about this situation and we’ll let you know what we find.
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Are you a big fan of college basketball? Let us know what teams you’ll be rooting for in these nonconference games!