The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference released revised schedules for the 2020-21 basketball seasons Monday, adjusting to the back-to-back, single-site format approved by the MAAC Council of Presidents earlier this month in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new schedules feature Friday/Saturday back-to-backs between teams, with both games at the same venue and 24 hours between the contests. The men's and women's schedules mirror one another, so if the Niagara University men are hosting Fairfield, the women would be on the road playing the Stags.
The weekend of Dec. 25-26 is open for holiday break, or non-conference games, if coaches prefer. The week of Feb. 22-28 remains open, a built-in make-up week should teams lose games due to the pandemic.
"The MAAC’s goal with the revised scheduling format is to complete the conference season and meet the NCAA minimum of 13 Division I games to be played by teams," MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said in a statement. "In light of the evolving state and local health standards, the increasing levels of infection rates, and decisions related to testing teams and officials three times a week for COVID-19, the MAAC membership revised its existing format for this season."
The NU men open Dec. 11-12 at Saint Peter's, then come home Dec. 18-19 to host Fairfield. Iona and new coach Rick Pitino will wait a year before hitting the Gallagher Center, as the Gaels host the Purple Eagles on Jan. 1-2. NU is back home for a pair against Rider on Jan. 8-9, then has a bye the following weekend. Niagara closes out the MAAC slate at Marist (Jan. 22-23), vs. Siena (Jan. 29-30), at Quinnipiac (Feb. 5-6), vs. Monmouth (Feb. 12-13), at Manhattan (Feb. 19-20) and back home following the make-up week for the Battle of the Bridge against rival Canisius (March 5-6).
The NU women mirror the men, opening vs. Saint Peter's, then at Fairfield, and so forth.