The Coronavirus Pandemic has rocked the world and has impacted professional and college sports. It has already canceled the 2020 NCAA Tournament and has begun impacting the 2020-21 NCAA football season. Fans were worried that the 2021 NCAA Tournament could be just another casualty of the global pandemic. NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt has guaranteed a 2021 NCAA Tournament despite the uncertainty and chaos currently unfolding in NCAA football.
I spoke with Dan Gavitt yesterday and he made it clear that the NCAA Tournament is going to be imperfect, it won’t be fair and equitable. He also made it clear that the NCAA is and has been exploring numerous options, but that it’s still early to have to make any decisions.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) August 13, 2020
The idea that he can fully guarantee a Tournament in 2021 despite it still being months away has baffled some fans. NCAA football has already had two of the Power Five Conferences cancel their seasons. The PAC 12 went a step further and canceled all their non-conference basketball games in 2020. Dan Gavitt and the rest of the NCAA seems to be hoping that things look better in 2021. The hope is that an easy and faster way to test for COVID-19 or even a vaccine is ready in early 2021.
The guarantee of a 2021 NCAA Tournament seemingly hinges on 2021 having a breakthrough on the Coronavirus. It is important to remember that these players aren’t paid to play on the court. This makes a bubble much harder despite the NCAA considering just that. These are college students and their health and safety has to be the number one priority here. We all want March Madness in 2021, but we also want the players of our favorite programs to be healthy and safe. Dan Gavitt has made us a massive promise, and now the NCAA will have to find a way to deliver it.