With the success the NBA has had with their bubble in Orlando, it has naturally become a hot topic in conversations around potential college hoops bubble sites for the season. With over 350 Division I basketball teams, and limited budgets at most in the wake of COVID-19 budget cuts, it cannot play host to every team and game though. Per Jon Rothstein there are a few signature competitive events that are being prioritized for the City of Light.
Sources: While Orlando has emerged as a bubble location for many early season tournaments in college basketball, four signature events --- Champions Classic, Jimmy V Classic, ACC/Big Ten Challenge, and SEC/Big 12 Challenge --- have emerged as primary priorities above others.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 8, 2020
There are a number of events here that include Big Ten teams. The Champions Classic will be entering its tenth season and plays host to the Michigan State Spartans out of the Big Ten, along with Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky. The four powerhouse programs face-off each season in a double-header, and this year MSU is scheduled to play Duke. Per Rothstein, the event which is currently scheduled to take place in Indianapolis on November 10th would be a priority for Orlando to host in a bubble.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are scheduled to participate in the 2020 Jimmy V Classic and are set to play Baylor. The annual event is scheduled for Madison Square Garden in December, but is a top priority event for an Orlando bubble. Last season the Indiana Hoosiers faced UConn in Madison Square Garden.
Finally, the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge is the other top priority. Obviously this event affects all 14-members of the Big Ten, and has since the league expanded to 14 teams in 2014. The annual challenge dates back to 1999, and the Big Ten is 6-12-3 all-time. Traditionally the schools host the games on campus, and the conferences split them evenly for home court advantage. Though sometimes neutral sites are utilized such as Michigan State-North Carolina in 2009 at Ford Field. The challenge is a marquee non-conference event every season, and naturally it makes sense it would be another event being tabbed a top priority for an Orlando bubble scenario should it be deemed necessary.
The commonality one may notice about all of these events as well is the fact they are all contracted with ESPN which is a Disney owned company. Regardless, it will be nice to ensure if there is a non-conference season that Big Ten fans can expect at least some of their normal marquee events to still occur.