With the coronavirus raging on and many conferences wondering what to do about football, basketball seems to be in a better spot when it comes to the possibility of playing a season.
With the NBA utilizing the bubble technique, and utilizing it well, college basketball in the bubble is a real possibility, especially now that there is a growing concern that non-conference games could get the axe here soon, according to Jon Rothstein, who adds that teams will be looking to play regionalized games in a bubble in order to fulfill non-conference games.
Source: Many college basketball coaches and administrators believe that current non-conference schedules will dissolve due to COVID-19 and teams will look to play regionalized games in pods or bubbles to fulfill any hope of non-conference basketball before league play. https://t.co/rXXk7dt6Yj— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 19, 2020
This follows the report that Orlando had emerged as a prime target for early season college basketball tournaments after the success of the NBA bubble in Orlando.
Luckily for Kentucky, if the NCAA does decide to do a regionalized non-conference slate, the border states house some pretty solid competition. Louisville, Western Kentucky, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Xavier, Ohio State, Memphis, Virginia, Indiana, Butler, Purdue, and Notre Dame could all be viable opponents if the NCAA were to stick regional teams in one giant bubble.
Kentucky is already scheduled to play Indiana and has reportedly discussed playing Western Kentucky in the future. Then there’s the Big 12/SEC Challenge that could present a good opportunity for West Virginia to come to Rupp Arena since Kentucky played in Morgantown three seasons ago.
And Kentucky obviously plays Louisville annually, so this regional bubble tournament could work quite well for the Wildcats while not being a drastic change from what they’re accustomed to.