College basketball season tips off during coronavirus surge, with March Madness the ultimate goal

    NCAA basketball is back on the court. Lamar center David Muoka and Houston forward Justin Gorham, right, vie for a rebound Wednesday in Houston.

    (CNN)Even before a single second was played Wednesday on opening day of the 2020-21 college basketball season, the coronavirus pandemic was putting obstacles on the long road to March Madness.

    More than 40 men's and women's games were postponed or canceled before their scheduled tip off on Thanksgiving Day eve. The nation on Tuesday reported the highest one-day coronavirus death toll since early May and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people not to travel for the holiday.
    "Let's put it this way: Overall, the way this country is, it's probably not in the best interest of everybody to have this in an ongoing epidemic," Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease specialist who sits on the NCAA Covid-19 medical advisory group, said of the unusual start to the season.
      Covid-19 already has disrupted multiple teams at schools large and small across the country.