March Sadness

NCAA tournament canceled


Despite fan and player disappointment, the NCAA canceled March Madness.

While fans always expect insanity due to the name, this year’s March Madness was one word no one saw coming: canceled. The outbreak and spread of the coronavirus caused the NCAA to cancel all spring and remaining winter athletics including March Madness, marking the first time in 81 years without the tournament.

As COVID-19 began to spread to the United States, sports leagues slowly took precautions. The NCAA continued games with only essential personnel and families present.

However, an NBA player tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, setting off a chain reaction that stopped the sports world in its tracks. Over 30 division one conferences suddenly canceled their individual tournaments while teams warmed up on the courts expecting to play for a conference title.

On March 12, the NCAA released a statement canceling all remaining winter and spring championships including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments; they also decided to not reveal the brackets afterwards as the selection process would not be authentic.

“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” said the NCAA in a press statement.

Fans all around the country expressed their disappointment at the cancellation of the staple event in the sports world.

“I was looking forward to the thrill and excitement of the games,” said junior Glenn Skinner. “It’s disappointing to know that it won’t be taking place this year.”

While the NCAA is considering an extra year of eligibility for spring athletes, winter athletes season’s, and some collegiate careers, are over. Many seniors did not receive an ending to their season and played a game without knowing it would be their last. 

“Extremely, extremely disappointed. Extremely disappointed,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few on ESPN. “This is a sad, sad day. I think we probably could have at least paused or delayed it.”