Many of the nation's top college basketball teams will tip off their seasons in a Connecticut bubble.
The "Bubbleville" event at the Mohegan Sun casino complex in Uncasville, Conn., will include 45 games from Nov. 25-Dec. 5. Among the participants will be No. 2 Baylor, No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Virginia, No. 18 Arizona State and No. 20 Oregon.
Women's games are on tap, too, with No. 3 UConn, No. 5 Louisville and No. 6 Mississippi State among the entrants.
Early-season tournaments that normally would be scattered across various venues will all be contested at Mohegan Sun, which will set up a bubble environment in an effort to protect the safety of the teams amid the coronavirus pandemic. Strict COVID-19 testing and cleaning protocols will be followed.
"I believe it's very important to show games can be played in a safe environment," Rick Giles, president of event organizer Gazelle Group, told CBS Sports, "and very important for the sport for us to present great nonconference games. The quality of these games will go a long way in determining who makes the NCAA Tournament and how teams are seeded in the NCAA Tournament.
"We may soon be looking at conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament being played in bubbles or controlled environments -- and we want to show that it can be done successfully."
Basketball Hall of Fame vice president of basketball operations Greg Procino told CBS Sports, "The single site, enormous square footage, the measures taken to open the property, the 'can do' attitude, the Viacom Showtime partnership bubble for Boxing and access to a testing contract/partnership were driving forces behind Mohegan Sun being viable. In addition, Mohegan Sun sits on tribal land so is governed by Tribal Council and has its own health and emergency services department."
According to CBS Sports, six games will be played on the event's opening day, Nov. 25. The most teams expected to be present in the bubble at any time is 16-20, per the report.
--Field Level Media