RMU basketball could potentially return as soon as November 25

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Photo by Samuel Anthony

RMU women's basketball head coach Charlie Buscaglia updates himself with the scoreboard against Saint Francis. Loretto, PA Feb. 18, 2019. (RMU Sentry Media/Samuel Anthony)

By Austin Bechtold, Assistant Sports Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP–The effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has postponed all Robert Morris fall sports to the start of spring, delaying RMU’s debut in the Horizon League to further down the 2020-21 athletic calendar.

The attention has now turned to the fate of winter sports, with men’s and women’s hockey as well as men’s and women’s basketball the programs affected by the decision of the AHA, CHA, and Horizon League, respectively.

Some clarity has been potentially brought to the forefront on the outlook for a potential college basketball schedule.

CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jon Rothstein has learned that November 25 and December 4 are two dates that have been discussed as potential days to tip-off the 2020-21 season.

The report only points out a possibility for Horizon League competition to begin as no start date has been confirmed, with COVID-19 ultimately playing a major factor in any decision.

Robert Morris men’s basketball was the last program to take the court on March 10 before the shutdown, winning the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championship against St. Francis in what ultimately resulted in the last ever game played by RMU athletics in the NEC. The Colonials earned a spot in the NCAA tournament, which would take place the following week, but never got the chance to play in what would have been the program’s first tournament action since 2015 when they lost to eventual tournament champion Duke in the first round.

Women’s basketball, on the other hand, narrowly defeated Wagner in the first round of NEC tournament play, which required overtime, at the UPMC Events Center on March 9. Both programs entered their conference tournaments as the No. 1 seed, holding the right to host their remaining action in the universities’ brand new building.

Despite no concrete schedule, fans could expect RMU basketball as potentially the first sport back on campus come November.