INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA Division I Council has approved a measure to move up the start date of men’s basketball games.

Instead of starting Nov. 9 games can now be played as early as Nov. 6. The hope is an earlier date gives teams more flexibility to take off additional around Christmas.

The Council also agreed to simplify practice starting dates by allowing the men’s and women’s teams to start at the same time.

Preseason football practices also are changing.

Teams can now count 29 days from their first game to determine the earlier preseason practice date. And schools will not be required to give players a day off during preseason workouts — until classes start or one week before the season opener.

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