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How could Hurricane Sandy affect the start of the season?

Oct 29, 2012, 5:14 PM EST

350x18 Reuters

The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy wrote a piece on how the Hurricane Sandy is affecting some of the college basketball programs on the east coast.

Among the big-time and big-conference teams, he writes Penn State, VCU and Villanova are preparing for some harsh times. Hofstra as well.

But thinking further, could the storm greatly affect the start of the season?

Teams in New York City are the ones that look to be heavily impacted with the eye of the storm headed for The Big Apple, such as Long Island, the heavy favorite to repeat as Northeast Conference champions, St. John’s, Fordham, MAAC contender Manhattan — which could end up being the hardest-hit program — and the already-mentioned Hofstra. Rutgers isn’t far from there as well. Also, the city of Boston seems to be getting lost in this storm shuffle, taking a huge brunt of this storm. That means teams like ACC bottom-tier player Boston College could be made to adjust, Holy Cross and America East elite Boston University are in the way. The teams in the Big 5 in Philadelphia are also obviously in the path, such as the aforementioned Villanova, LaSalle, Temple, St. Joseph’s and Penn.

From what the weather folks are saying, this storm isn’t crazy strong, but it’s ability to stir up the ocean and the major metropolitan areas it’s hitting have everyone preparing for the worst.

With exhibition games starting soon around the nation, teams don’t necessarily have to worry about totally altering their schedules, but with this storm looking to cause a lot structural damage and flooding, meaning repairs to college campuses and athletic facilities.

With the hurricane less than two hours from landfall in the northeast, it’s certainly possible we could see some exhibition and possibly some early-season non-conference games moving around, depending on the severity of the storm.

You always hope and pray for the best. And as long as all people involved are accounted for, having to play games in different venues is a small price to pay.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.