Monday, January 24

The Kansas situation shows there are no easy answers to organizing March Madness during a pandemic

If only the Big 12 Conference had chosen to host their men’s basketball championship a week earlier than usual, seven days before NCAA tournament selection Sunday, we would have saved ourselves the anguish of waiting to see if Kansas would be available. to compete in March Madness.

But only the anguish.

It is quite possible that Kansas had to deal with a positive COVID-19 test on their show, even while she was abducted from her home in Lawrence and still faced the same situation regarding participation in the NCAA Tournament. Or it could have been some other show besides KU, Virginia, and North Carolina A&T.

MORE: Virginia Awaits Her Fate at NCAA Tournament After Positive COVID Test

It’s not that there were no positive tests, breaks, postponements, cancellations, and interruptions throughout the 2020-21 season.

There will be many who will criticize the college basketball establishment for not hosting conference tournaments sooner. If there had been more time in between, they say, they are saying, then the situation that develops now would not have occurred.

That is false. It could have happened just as easily, it would have just been private rather than extremely public.

We do not know how or when a KU player came into contact with the virus. Remember, KU left two players at home in Lawrence due to COVID protocols. Wichita State, which opened Friday at the AAC Tournament, followed suit. If the only requirement to avoid the virus was not to play in basketball tournaments, it would not be a pandemic.

We only know that we know that someone tested positive, because the Jayhawks were forced to withdraw from the Big 12 Tournament as a result and their status to the NCAA is undetermined.

If they were home in Lawrence this week and a player tested positive, it would have been as secret as they wanted it to be until they showed up in Indianapolis without that guy or KU announced that he had been forced to call the NCAA and testify. that he was not available to participate in the tournament.

MORE: March Madness Replacement Rules Explained

The vast majority of the conference’s 31 tournaments to date have been uninterrupted by COVID. It is a terrible disappointment for Kansas, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina A&T, Florida International and Northern Iowa who were unable to complete their quest for tournament championships. However, this is how college sports have been since his return.

It was a disappointment not to have a game between Ohio State and Michigan to close out the Big Ten football season. It was a disappointment that there were more than a dozen Buckeyes unavailable for the CFP Championship game. That event took place 10 days after the semifinals. The delay didn’t help those players get involved.

It would be wonderful if there was a simple answer to this, but there is no perfect way to organize a college basketball season and ensure that everyone is present when the biggest games are played. Scaremongering, the search for the simplest answers to the most complex problems, does not help at all.

There will be 68 teams in Indianapolis next week. Hopefully the Jayhawks and Cavaliers are among them, because they have earned it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *