SAN LUIS OBISPO – One of the first two Cal Poly teams to start the athletics department’s 2020-21 schedule, the Mustang men’s basketball program released its 28-game regular season schedule for the upcoming year on Wednesday afternoon.
“This year, we’ve dealt with an unusual amount of uncertainties due to this global pandemic, which has forced everyone to operate differently and continue to pivot without a clear-cut future in sight. Now that the schedule has been released, we’re very excited to have something to plan for,” second-year Cal Poly head coach John Smith said. “However, we do understand that we’re all not out of the woods, as this virus is very unpredictable. We’re just trying to make sure we focus on what we can control, one day at a time. The focus is solely on what we get to do as opposed to what we don’t get to do. For instance, we get to spend Christmas in Hawaii as opposed to not spending Christmas with our families. Positivity will help drown out the sorrows that COVID-19 continues to try to bestow upon us.”
With NCAA programs allowed to begin play on Wednesday, Nov. 25, Cal Poly’s 2020-21 schedule features eight non-conference games and 20 Big West Conference contests.
The upcoming Big West schedule was expanded from 16 games to 20 following the offseason additions of UC San Diego (making its Division I debut) and CSU Bakersfield. Modified to reduce travel and emphasize safety, the Big West schedule has been altered so that teams play the same opponent on consecutive days at one site, with most games taking place on Friday and Saturday.
For example, Cal Poly will open Big West play at Hawai’i on Sunday, Dec. 27 and Monday, Dec. 28. The Mustangs then host UC San Diego on Friday, Jan. 1 and Saturday, Jan. 2.
Each Big West program will play its conference schedule over an 11-week period with one bye week. Games will not be rescheduled should a program need to quarantine during the season. Tie-breaking procedures shall be utilized at the end of the regular season.
Per the direction of the Big West Board of Directors, all teams will begin the season without spectators in attendance. The issue of fan attendance will be revisited as the season progresses.
Tipoff times will be made available on GoPoly.com once confirmed.
Stampede Club members with questions regarding ticket plans, packages and membership concerns are encouraged to contact Cal Poly development coordinator Sharon Wagner at 805-756-6382 or email@example.com.
Cal Poly, which returns seven letterwinners from last year’s squad, opens action on Thanksgiving eve at the U.S. Bank Pilot Invitational against host Portland (9-23, 1-15 West Coast Conference). The Mustangs then face Idaho (8-24, 4-16 Big Sky) on Friday, Nov. 27 and VMI (9-24, 3-15 Southern Conference) on Saturday, Nov. 28 before returning home.
The Mustangs visit the first of two Pac-12 Conference opponents on Tuesday, Dec. 8 when visiting Stanford (20-12, 9-9 Pac-12). Following a Saturday, Dec. 12 matchup at Fresno State (11-19, 7-11 Mountain West), Cal Poly hosts San Diego (9-23, 2-14 WCC) inside Mott Athletics Center on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Cal Poly completes Big West preparations at Loyola Marymount (11-21, 4-12 WCC) on Saturday, Dec. 19 and at USC (22-9, 11-7) on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Following the opening two weekends of Big West action at Hawai’i (17-13, 8-8) Dec. 27-28 and at home Jan. 1-2 versus UC San Diego (30-1, 21-1 CCAA) – which captured last year’s California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season title before joining the Big West – the Mustangs visit CSU Bakersfield Jan. 8-9. Cal Poly and CSU Bakersfield (12-19, 6-10 WAC) – which joins the Big West from the Western Athletic Conference – last played each other as conference opponents during the 1993-94 as members of the CCAA.
Three of Cal Poly’s next four Big West series occur at home inside Mott Athletics Center with dates against UC Riverside (17-15, 7-9) on Jan. 15-16, CSUN (15-17, 10-6) on Jan. 29-30 and Cal State Fullerton (11-20, 6-10) on Feb. 12-13.
Cal Poly’s bye week occurs during the Feb. 5-6 competition dates.
After visiting Long Beach State (11-21, 6-10) Feb. 19-20, Cal Poly closes its 11-game home schedule when hosting UC Davis (14-18, 8-8) Feb. 26-27.
Cal Poly completes the regular season at UC Santa Barbara (21-10, 10-6) March 5-6.
The 2021 Big West Tournament is scheduled for March 10-13 at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Eight of the 11 member programs will qualify. The men’s tournament will revert to the format last utilized in 2010 (and currently utilized for the women’s tournament) with the top two programs in the standings receiving byes to the semifinals and programs that finished third and fourth receiving byes to the quarterfinals. Teams finishing Nos. 5-8 in the standings will contest the opening round.
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