WCIA — The NCAA officially approved a plan on Tuesday to move fall sport seasons and championships to the spring. It means Illinois volleyball, soccer and cross country now have a plan to play moving forward.
The Illini volleyball team will be able to take the court for its first match Jan. 22, a little more than a month after the season traditionally ends. The NCAA tournament will also look a lot different. Normally, 64 teams qualify but this year only 48 teams will be in the field. The automatic qualifiers remain the same (32) but the at-large bids go down to just 16. The selection show will be April 4 with the Final Four April 23-25.
The Illini soccer team can begin competition on Feb. 3, with the NCAA selecting picks for the 48-team tournament on April 18. Only 17 at-large teams will be selected to play, with the NCAA Championships running May 13-17.
Illinois men’s and women’s cross country can start competing Jan. 23 before the postseason selections on March 6. The NCAA Championships will run March 15.