With college basketball schedules resetting, Gonzaga and Baylor set brutal slates — and that’s a great thing

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Gonzaga is No. 1 in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1. And Baylor is No. 2. It’s an uncommon couple atop the polls heading into an uncommon — well, unprecedented — season. 

But do you realize what these programs are doing? To this point, here’s what the nonconference schedules are looking like for the two Final Four contenders. 

For Gonzaga:

  • vs. No. 11 Michigan State (potentially) in Orlando in late November
  • vs. No. 12 Tennessee in Orlando on Dec. 2
  • vs. No. 2 Baylor in Indianapolis on Dec. 5
  • vs. No. 5 Iowa in South Dakota on Dec. 19

For Baylor:

Keep in mind there will be more games against NCAA Tournament-level teams for both schools when they squeeze in additional tilts in Orlando, where ESPN is going to house dozens of teams and numerous multi-team events. Mark Few and Scott Drew, two coaches who’ve never won a national title and only one of whom has made a Final Four, are scheduling like degree of difficulty will get them to the promised land. 

I love it. Can you imagine if college basketball always had this? By that I mean: regularly had two of its top three or four teams not only explicitly seeking each other out to play in the nonconference, but also were borderline obsessed with playing the hardest out-of-league slate possible? It’s what the 2020-21 season has delivered with the Bulldogs and Bears.

These two aren’t the only top 10-caliber teams seeking difficult schedules, I know. Expect Kansas to be very rugged again, for instance. No. 4 Virginia is targeting to play Florida, and should also have No. 3 Villanova on the schedule. No. 5 Iowa told Gonzaga it’s totally up for a throwdown in South Dakota. It’s a fabulous thing for college basketball. If all teams


Loop Insights Selected as the Premier Venue Tracing and Fan Engagement Solution for NCAA College Basketball “Bubble” in Las Vegas

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VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 8, 2020 /CNW/ – Loop Insights Inc. (TSXV: MTRX) (OTCQB: RACMF) (the “Company” or “Loop”), a provider of contactless solutions and artificial intelligence (“AI”) to drive automated marketing, venue tracing, and contactless solutions to the brick and mortar space, announces the signing of its first deal with partner bdG Sports (“bdG”) to provide venue tracing and enhanced fan engagement solutions for its #VegasBubble, which will feature NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball when the new season launches next month.

LOOP Insights Inc. Logo (CNW Group/LOOP Insights Inc.)
LOOP Insights Inc. Logo (CNW Group/LOOP Insights Inc.)


The global pandemic has overturned nearly every team’s schedule for the upcoming season. It has created the need for an easily accessible destination location where teams can play under the same health and safety protocols. In response to the revised NCAA Division I 2020-21 season, bdG, one of the nation’s leading content providers in college basketball programming, is playing host to multiple men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments as well as non-conference matchups and opportunities for additional regular-season games.

Labeled the “#VegasBubble,” bdG has worked closely with MGM Resorts to establish comprehensive health and safety protocols for its participants, officials, and game operations personnel with Loop’s venue tracing platform anchoring the overall plan. Games are to be played at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Events Center, and T-Mobile Arena between November 25 and December 22, 2020, in Las Vegas.

“Our No. 1 priority in offering up a safe and secure environment for our teams was to have a robust safety plan,” said Brooks Downing, CEO of Kentucky-based bdG Sports. “And as a complementary asset to our testing that we are planning to implement is Loop Insight’s venue


College basketball schedule 2020-21: Iowa to face Gonzaga in potential top-five showdown in South Dakota

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College basketball continues to load up on elite, must-see games for its upcoming season.

The latest late-offseason upgrade features two Final Four contenders — Gonzaga playing Iowa — in a game to be played on Dec. 19 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, sources told CBS Sports. The Sanford Pentagon (the same site hosting the tournament field formerly labeled the 2020 Battle 4 Atlantis) will be witness to the fourth meeting ever between the Bulldogs and Hawkeyes. 

Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in CBS Sports’ Top 25 And 1 preseason rankings. The Hawkeyes are No. 5.

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The game is a goodie, and not just because Gonzaga could be the best team in college basketball. This tilt would also will feature the lock-of-locks preseason pick for national player of the year, Iowa center Luka Garza. The senior big man opted to return to college basketball after being a consensus First Team All-America/Big Ten Player of the Year. He averaged 23.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a season ago; Iowa was well on its way to the 2020 NCAA Tournament, thanks in large part to Garza’s play.

Garza won’t be the only potential preseason All-American selection in this game. Gonzaga guard Corey Kispert leads maybe the most well-rounded starting five in the sport. The Zags are loaded yet again and have championship aspirations. 

Gonzaga was able to fill this opening on its slate because, just as it did with securing Baylor for a Dec. 5 game in Indianapolis, Iowa was both a desirable, high-quality opponent and a team that


University of Miami basketball team lands four-star Class of ’21 guard Jakai Robinson

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Jakai Robinson, a highly touted guard from the Washington, D.C. area, committed to the University of Miami during the weekend, becoming the third guard in the Hurricanes’ Class of 2021.

Robinson, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard known for his toughness, is considered the No. 2 basketball recruit in Maryland. He chose Miami over UConn, North Carolina State, Seton Hall and Georgetown.

The Canes had previously received commitments from 6-1 point guard Bensley Joseph and 6-4 combo guard Nisine Poplar.

Robinson’s high school coach Trevor Brown at National Christian Academy told 247 Sports, which first reported the news: “Jakai and his father really like the fact that they have an experienced coaching staff over there. The coaching staff is established and has been together for a long time, much like my staff has. Miami has had a lot of success developing wing players. They play a lot of pick-and-roll type basketball. They get up and down the court pretty well and play with a decent pace. Those are all of the things Jakai does really well.”

Miami starting point guard Chris Lykes will be a senior this season, so coach Jim Larranaga and his staff now have three Class of 2021 prospects, along with returning guards Harlond Beverly and Isaiah Wong, to fill the void.

The college basketball season begins the last week of November.


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College basketball schedule 2020-21: Florida and Virginia agree to game at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun

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Florida and Virginia have never met for a regular-season game in men’s basketball. That could change this season. The Gators and Cavaliers have made significant modifications to their nonconference schedules and have agreed in principle to play each other Nov. 27, sources told CBS Sports. 

The teams will meet at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun, a site that’s long been preparing to play host to dozens of games in a controlled environment this November and December. Both teams will start the season in Connecticut on Nov. 25 against mid-major opponents before their game on Nov. 27, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving. 

Florida was already scheduled to play at Mohegan Sun this season in December, but that date was canceled due to scheduling conflicts. Virginia played at Mohegan Sun last year, so it has familiarity and comfort with the location. In doing this, sources said, that means UVA has opted out of the Wooden Legacy, which is an ESPN-run event scheduled to be held in Orlando. That tournament field initially had Kansas, Georgetown and UCLA involved. Georgetown previously left that field. 

The Mohegan Sun “bubble” will be jointly run and operated by resort staff, the Naismith Hall of Fame and the Gazelle Group, all of whom have been in talks with dozens of programs as they continue to build out an array of multi-team events and standalone nonconference games. CBS Sports first revealed the plans for this bubble-type environment in early September. 

The addition is a boon for Mohegan Sun, but also another solid add for college basketball’s slate. The Wahoos might prove to be a top-five team in college hoops this season; they’re ranked No. 4 in CBS Sports’ preseason Top 25 And 1. Remember, Tony Bennett’s team still is the most recent national champion in the sport, since there was

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