After waiting a month and a half longer than most college basketball programs to start its 2020-21 season, the American Eagles men's basketball program will have to wait a little longer. American's season opener against Loyola (Md.) is postponed following a positive coronavirus test within the Greyhounds program.
The two schools were set to open their seasons with back-to-back contests on Jan. 2 and 3.
Instead, the Eagles will open their season against Lehigh on Jan. 9 and 10. The Loyola-American series will be rescheduled by the Patriot League office.
The Patriot League was the only league in the NCAA to prohibit nonconference seasons from its programs this year. All sports across the league were postponed until 2021. The Ivy League canceled its season altogether.
This sweeping rule did not apply to service academies (Navy).
The result is January starting Patriot League basketball play and it presumably will lead to only the league winner making the NCAA tournament through an automatic bid. If more games are postponed because of positive cases, it could lead to bigger issues, though, for the PL. To be eligible to play in the postseason (NCAA Tournament and NIT), teams must have played a minimum of 13 games.
As of this writing, American has only 14 regular-season games remaining if the two games are not rescheduled. There will also be the opportunity for more games in the Patriot League tournament.
Loyola's two-game set against Navy (Jan. 9 & 10) was also postponed.