Al Galdi discusses what the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament means for Mark Turgeon, Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith and the rest of the No. 12 Terrapins…
How did we get here?
NCAA president Mark Emmert this past Wednesday, announced that the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments would be held without fans in attendance at games. Emmert’s announcement came after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that he would issue an order that would ban fans from NCAA tournament games in Cleveland and First Four games in Dayton. Emmert’s decison applied to more than just men’s and women’s basketball. All NCAA-sponsored championships would be affected, including hockey’s Frozen Four (April 9-11 in Detroit) and wrestling (March 19-21 in Minneapolis).
The yesterday we had the announcement from NCAA president Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors that they had cancelled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.
Why was the NCAA Tournament cancelled as opposed to postponed?
A growing number of universities around the country were closing for the foreseeable future, so the lack of a defined timetable to return to campus put the NCAA in a bind. It’s hard to send an entire campus home for a month, bring students back, have the teams practice for a week or two and then hope to start an NCAA tournament. And that’s not even accounting for the ability to secure arenas, secure travel and identify television programming windows for men’s and women’s basketball in particular.
There’s a calendar issue, too. In men’s and women’s basketball in particular, many players without remaining eligibility would be pursuing their professional options or attempting to start their post-basketball careers. The NBA is able to delay things for a few weeks and reassess, because it’s able to extend its season into the middle of the summer with no issue. It’s likely impossible to do that in any college sport, particularly one expected to end in March or early April.
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