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Battle 4 Atlantis not expected to play in the Bahamas this fall

Every year, eight college basketball programs around the nation gather in the Bahamas at the end of November for some sun, sand and time on the hardwood.

The annual Battle 4 Atlantis tournament has become one of the premier preseason tournaments for college basketball — and this year, the Utes were scheduled to take part in it.

Joining Utah was supposed to be Duke, Creighton, Ohio State, West Virginia, Memphis, Wichita State and Texas A&M.

Originally scheduled to play from November 25-27 in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Paradise Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas, reports have begun to surface that the tournament is being moved to a different location.

According to CBS Sports college basketball writer Matt Norlander, one of the potential destinations is the Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. But there are other sites still under consideration, although they haven’t ben disclosed yet.

This was Utah’s first time playing the Battle 4 Atlantis since 2011, Larry Krystkowiak’s first year leading in the Utes program.

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the tournament potentially changing locations, it’s still unknown if Utah will be taking part in any form of basketball prior to Jan. 1.

When the Pac-12 announced on August 11 that it was cancelling the fall sports season (while potentially postponing the football season), it also threw a massive wrench into the upcoming college basketball season.

Part of the Pac-12’s announcement was regarding more than just the fall sports season, as it was cancelling ALL sports activities for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year.

“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”

But then the Pac-12 announced a partnership with Quidel Corporation, a diagnostic company with rapid COVID-19 testing that can produce results in 15 minutes. According to a webinar with Scott last Thursday, he said that each school will be able to have rapid testing available on campus as soon as the end of September.

Dec 18, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes players celebrate after the Utes defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 69-66 at T-Mobile Arena.
Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

“This is a major step toward the safe resumption of Pac-12 sport competitions,” Scott said in a released statement. “The availability of a reliable test that can be administered daily, with almost immediate results, addresses one of the key concerns that was expressed by our medical advisory committee, as well as by student-athletes, coaches and others.”

With the new partnership, there is now growing optimism that the Pac-12 could reconsider that start date in favor of starting with the rest of the NCAA.

According to a report by Jon Wilner of The Mercury News, the league is going to “re-evaluate its decision to postpone the basketball season until 2021 if favorable circumstances unfold inside NCAA headquarters and on the campuses” of the Pac-12.

Only time will tell if the Utes will be playing college basketball in November — but if they are, they definitely won’t be playing in the Bahamas.

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Twitter — @UtahUtes_SI and Ryan Kostecka at @Ryan_Kostecka

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