Joel Ayayi #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
It was not possible to guarantee the 2020 college basketball season as the COVID-19 global pandemic continued. This forced a delay. After months of hard decisions and deliberation, the final decision was made. The NCAA Division I Council approved moving start date to Wednesday, November 25This schedule was set at 27 regular season matches.
The shortened season will require teams to start as strong as they finish and make it difficult for greater-than-normal production, but that doesn’t mean records can’t be beat in a short year.
These three records have a chance to be broken in 2020/21
After making a three pointer, Isaac White #4 celebrates with the Stanford Cardinal. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP
Lowest Field Goal Percentage Allowed – Currently: Stanford, 2001
Stanford University was ranked No. After finishing at the top of the Pac 12 with a record 31-3, Stanford University was ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Basketball Tournament 2000/01. Senior center Jason Collins and sophomore guard Casey Jacobsen led the Cardinal’s suffocating defense. The defensive performance was unlike we’ve ever seen and Stanford held its opponents to a record low 35.2 percent shooting.
If ever there was a time when a record could be broken, this is it. Not only are there less games, leaving less opportunity for off-nights or sluggish starts, but four teams came within a stone’s throw of the record last season.
Virginia won a national championship in 2018/19 and followed it up with a third consecutive season with the nation’s top total defense.The Cavaliers kept opponents at 37.5 percent in the field. They have a track record of keeping opponents under 40 percent shooting for the season. This was also true during the national title race and in 2015.
The ‘Hoos lose Mamadi Diakite and Braxton Key to graduation and 40 percent of the team’They are now rebounding, but the rest the roster returns and adds Sam Hauser, an extremely talented transfer forward and one of the most outstanding freshman classes in school history.
Head coach Tony Bennett’s team is reloaded and ready to make another run at a ring and are currently given +1400 odds to win the 2020/21 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Bovada. Opponents will face real difficulties scoring against Cavaliers in the second year. This could lead to another record-breaking year.
Virginia might have the best record-breaking setup, but Memphis was the national leader in defensive field goal percentage allowed last season. The Tigers held opponents to 36.1 percent shooting, less than a point percentage behind Stanford’s record. Penny Hardaway’s team is +7500 to win it all on BetOnline, but will be without Precious Achiuwa, who will head to the NBA after leading the team in scoring, rebounding and shots blocked.
Kansas and Rutgers are both returning a lot of their core personnel and held their opponents to 37.3 percent and 38.3 respectively last season. This was one of the most delightful surprises of 2019/20.
Luka Garza #55 for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP
Most Double-Doubles in a Season – Currently: David Robinson, 31
David Robinson, a 10-time NBA All Star and two time NBA Hall of Fame inductee, is known as one of the most talented centers to ever play pro basketball. Many people do not know this. ‘The Admiral’His collegiate career at Navy, where he played for the San Antonio Spurs may have been even more remarkable.
In 1985/86, the Midshipmen reached Elite Eight. They then went on to make back-toback tournament appearances. Robinson had a double-double in junior, senior, and sophomore with more than 20 points per game and 10 rebounds per contest. He also set a new record of 31 single-season double doubles in 1986/87. Robinson’s dominance is evident in this record, which has not been broken for over 30 years.
If the record is to be broken, Iowa’s Luka Garza may be the one to do it during the 2020/21 season. He was 6-foot-11 and was unanimous first-team All-American as well as Big Ten Player of Year in junior. He decided to return to Iowa City for one final run. He averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season, falling just short of the double-double average, and will be many experts’ preseason frontrunner for national player of the year.
Garza had 15 double-doubles in 31 games last season, which doesn’t appear close to Robinson’s record on the surface. But, Garza was only one rebound shy of a double double-double on three occasions. He also fell two rebounds short seven other times and was one point away from two rebounds once. Garza could have easily finished 2019/20 with 26 double doubles, if all had gone his way.
Iowa, with his last season at 27 games, will need to make deep runs within the Big Ten or NCAA tournaments in order to play 31 matches. If that were to be the case, Garza couldn’t afford a single off night to even have a chance at the single-season double-doubles record. However, Garza returns as the nation’s most dominant big and if he can take his numbers just one step further, he could finish within reach of Robinson’s record.
The Hawkeyes finished at 20-11 in last season’s season. They will be among the Big 10’s contenders this year. Fran McCaffery’s team is currently listed with the second-lowest odds at +750 to win the 2021 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Bovada.
(Bonus: 1,000 rebounds and 2,000 points per career
Garza starts this season with 1,559 rebounds and 660 points in his career. He will become the 114th player in college to reach 2,000 points or 1,000 rebounds if Garza scores 441 and grabs 340 rebounds. As a junior, he had 740 points, and he snagged 355 rebounds. He has the chance to match his scoring and increase his rebounding.
Joel Ayayi #11 Gonzaga Bulldogs Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
Most Consecutive 30-win Seasons – Currently: Kansas (2010-13), Villanova (2015-18), Gonzaga (2017-present)
If 2020/21 was a normal year, the Zags will be the sole owners of the record for consecutive 30-win seasons. However, with the 27-game limit, the West Coast Conference’s top dogs will need to dominate the regular season and make a couple of postseason runs. Mark Few’s squad finished 2020 with the most wins and tied for the fewest losses in the nation, before it was cut short due to COVID-19.
With the Bulldogs’ WCC tournament win over San Francisco, who they have defeated 32 consecutive times at home, the program marked its 30th win of the season. With the win, Gonzaga joined Kansas and Villanova as the only Division I men’s basketball programs to record four consecutive seasons with 30 or more wins.
The NCAA has no active record, but the Zags have the only record, and if they can make it again in 2020/21, the record for consecutive 30-win seasons will be theirs.. After running the numbers and doing the math, the road won’t be easy. It will have only two chances to play in the conference tournament if Gonzaga wins its conference regular season championship.
Even if the Bulldogs in Spokane, Wash. win their last 29 games, they still need to win the NCAA Tournament First Round to achieve the record. The team could lose two to three games during March Madness. To break through to five consecutive seasons, it may be necessary to run an Elite Eight and Final Four.
Gonzaga is currently listed at +1100 to win the 2021 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Bovada and has shown its ability to compete deep into the bracket, having reached the Sweet 16 in 2016 and 2018, the Elite Eight in 2015 and 2019 and the national championship game in 2017.
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