COVID-19 takes over: NCAA Women’s and Men’s tournaments canceled



Shortly after announcing that the NCAA tournament games would be played without an audience both men's and women's tournaments were cancelled indefinitely.

Olivia Pratapas, Sports Writer

Seasons, hard work, memories, and championships have all been taken away from
collegiate players and teams as the virus known worldwide has interrupted our way of
life. Due to the nature of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), holding sporting events was no
longer a feasible option.
Trying to make strides in continuing the play of the tournament with empty arenas, it
was soon called off in a statement by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic
Association) committee.
“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to
ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic and the impracticality
of hosting such events at any time during the academic year given the ongoing
decisions by other entities,” the NCAA stated.
The women’s basketball committee hadn’t even started the selection process of who
would be playing who, with the men’s just beginning to select before it was all called off
on March 12. The men’s side had 19 conference tournaments yet to be completed while
the women’s had 18. In a Big East tournament game between Creighton and St. John’s
taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York, these teams were able to start but
didn’t know that ending the game at half would end the season. Seniors would soon
realize that it would be their last college debut, or even last time playing basketball.

On March 13, just 24 hours after calling off colleges’ seasons, the NCAA council
leadership felt that it was only right in giving eligibility relief to all Division 1 athletes that
participated in a spring sport. This decision will give spring sport athletes a second
chance to have their senior athletic careers given back to them by extending their
eligibility to five years. Not only were seasons canceled for players, but the public’s
NCAA tournament challenge was canceled. Students were angry and disappointed
when they heard the challenge would be called off.
“I’m [furious] right now because I wanted to beat my friends in the bracket challenge and
win money,” junior Shiv Hira said.
“It made March feel less exciting than usual. My family always looks forward to
competing against each other with [each other’s] brackets, and we won’t get to do that
this year,” senior Jordan Pittman said.
While it is a sad time for athletes since they can never say they got to compete in this
year’s March Madness tournaments, they should still reflect on the success they have
had throughout their seasons. For fans, never stop cheering on your team whether
they’re in season or not; they should always feel loved.