In one sense, scheduling college basketball games, at least for ACC teams, is probably relatively easy. The conference handles the ACC part of the schedule and schools like Duke, UNC and NC State can get as many buy, or guarantee games as they want. If you want to get Asheville, Elon, Furman, Wofford, Davidson, the Citadel, ECU or VMI on the schedule, most years they are happy to oblige.
They get a chance to play a major program, albeit almost always on the road, and they get a handsome payday which for smaller schools is a real necessity.
Well it won’t happen this year because without fans, the bigger schools have less with which to pay.
ACC schools still have multiple income streams (school revenue, conference revenue, TC revenue and NCAA tournament revenue to name a few) but that’s not really the case in the Big South or the Southern Conference or any of the conferences a notch or two below the ACC in the pecking order.
You can generally pick or choose, in other words, if you’re an ACC team.
That’s not the case this year. The pandemic has rearranged everyone’s priorities. In most years, the schedule would be long done, tickets would have been mailed out and the season would be about to get started.
The schedule has been shortened by four games, travel is a factor and despite the lack of a normal payday, guarantee games are being fiercely competed for, if only for exposure and the chance of a Stephen F. Austin size upset like we saw last year in Cameron.
So Duke, UNC and NC State have had some real challenges getting their schedules in place and the window is limited.
Don’t look for any announcements just yet.