Will Coronavirus Impact The NCAA Tournament?
Covid-19 is forcing everyone to be cautious and that is good.
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Get rady for empty arenas?
UPDATE: NCAA has announced that there will be no fans in attendance for the NCAA Tournament.
The United States, and the world, are coping with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which is spreading and there have been and will be a lot of ways to hopefully prevent it from getting worse. Ways to do that are to limit large gatherings or canceling them altogether.
Italy has been hit very badly by this virus and the country on lockdown and the very popular Serie A league postponed through the first few days in April and there is even talk of just canceling the season with no winner.
Across the Atlantic seems far away but cases are worldwide including the United States and events are already being canceled or adjusted to be played with no fans.
The Ivy League has a fairly new four-team tournament and they decided to scrap the men’s and women’s event and award regular-season champions with the NCAA Tournament auto bid.
Then there is the Big West and MAC which are going to play but with no fans. That will be a very interesting scene to take n watching these events televised with no cheering or booing fans.
This begs the question for what the NCAA should do for the NCAA Tournament. There are already people out there writing up opinion pieces — can’t stress opinion enough as sportswriters are not medical experts — that perhaps March Madness should be canceled.
Things happen quickly but on March 8, the NCAA said they plan on having games as scheduled. Yet, at the time no word on fans attending, at least in this clip below.
There is something to be said about being overly cautious or not caring enough. March Madness is huge for a million reasons from teams earning its first bids, fans going to events, bracket pools, TV money, school pride and fun.
In my non-expert opinion, I hope that these decisions that are made, or not made, to limit March Madness or even outright cancel the event that it is not done in panic.
Be smart about it and discuss with medical experts on steps to take. Having the events go on and then it causes this virus to spread rapidly would be so much worse than no fans at these games or cancel the event outright.
There are also issues to be dealt with on a state by state as March Madness is all across the country which includes games in Spokane, Washington, with that state being hit particularly hard or Ohio which is the state hosting the MAC tournament without fans in Cleveland.
Ohio also is hosting the First Four in Dayton in under a week and Governor Mike DeWine is not outright saying no fans but is asking that all indoor events do not have fans in attendance. Not sure who has the final call when it comes to the NCAA Tournament but this is something else to watch.
This situation is one of a kind and should be taken seriously and we all want the full NCAA Tournament experience making brackets, cheering for upset, rooting for your team, or in the Mountain West’s case a possible No. 1 seed in San Diego State making a deep tournament run.
For more info on NCAA and conference tournamaent updates check out Heat Check CBB and Mid Major Madness which are compiling updates as they role in.