The Gophers men’s basketball schedule remains in flux five weeks before the official start date of the 2020-21 college season, but one thing appears to be clear.
Richard Pitino’s team is unlikely to play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut this season, sources told the Star Tribune on Wednesday.
The Gophers backed out recently, hoping to either host a multi-team event or play an MTE closer to home to limit non-league travel during the pandemic, sources said.
The four-team HOF Tip-Off scheduled for Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 in Uncasville, CT is now looking to replace another team. The original field had included the Gophers, Marquette and Central Florida. It now has Virginia Tech, Temple and Rhode Island.
At the start of practice last week, Pitino couldn’t confirm anything about nonconference play. The Gophers’ first game could be Nov. 25 vs. Green Bay at Williams Arena. But the Big Ten has yet to release the basketball league schedule for this season.
“I don’t know,” Pitino said during a video call last week. “Science can evolve. Testing is very, very important. Getting to where you can get daily testing is very important. So, we don’t know anything yet. We’re all hoping the Big Ten schedule can get solidified at some point and we can work around that.”
Pitino hopes to play 27 regular season games, which means seven nonconference games to go with a 20-game Big Ten slate.