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SEC sets its start dates for men's hoops

In the final days of 2020 will be when the SEC basketball schedule will tip off.
Credit: AP
South Carolina head coach Frank Martin, right, greets Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes before an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. Tennessee defeated South Carolina 92-70. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Normally, the SEC basketball schedule begins in early January but the league has announced the new start dates for the men's conference schedule will be Dec. 29 and 30.

The women's basketball start date will remain Dec. 31, 2020 as previously scheduled.

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 will remain at 18 play dates with a 16-game league schedule.

Earlier this month, the NCAA Division I Council approved a Nov. 25 start date for the upcoming 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.