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Reports: Big East targeting mid-December for a start to conference play

Christmas might come early for Xavier and the rest of the league.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Tournament-Xavier vs DePaul
Soon, Big Frosty.
Noah's K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

First, the news:

You'll recall that the earliest date for games to be played us November 25th, with the NCAA encouraging teams to play at least 4 non-conference games on the year. That's somewhere between 2.5 and 4 weeks of non-con action before the ball goes up for Big East play.

It's all but assured that Xavier will get 20 conference games thanks to the double round robin and UConn's entrance to the league. They'll have 10 to 13 weeks to get those games in before tournaments begin, assuming March goes off something like normal. That will give teams two games a week right through, with the chance to get a bye or take a conference-wide break for some additional non-conference games somewhere in there.

This is going to be far from a normal season, but at least we're getting some additional clarity on what it will look like. For my part, I hope the Big East is able to sprinkle in some open dates so teams can rest and recover from what will be a strenuous start after an abnormal preseason. If our luck holds, maybe we'll get to see a fully healthy Xavier once again contesting meaningful single-elimination games. Wear those masks.