The first full day of the NCAA tournament is in exactly one month. This fact alone should be a cause for celebration for the sport as a whole.
Instead, we are distracted by the ongoing debate over the value of conference tournaments. Specifically, rumors continue to circulate that some schools that already have offers or NCAA seeds in the bag will drop out rather than jeopardize their availability in Indianapolis.
For those who will listen, I call it a full and total undergraduate degree. Many of the same schools that were ready to go to the airport in November and December – because these games were so important – suddenly ignored the considerations of COWID-19? Just leave me alone.
To be clear, I’ve been in the hot seat since I was 25. November wondered every day if our entire company was worth it. But that trial took place 3,270 games ago, and the verdict is in. We had a season with more competitive fairness than we could have expected, and March Madness was just around the corner. It’s crazy, but you have to realize that this is a conference tournament for only about 80% of Division I teams.
This year, the NCAA added 31 automatically qualified reads to the honor system. Last week, the Men’s Basketball Committee reminded conferences of the Feb. 26 deadline to determine how their respective champions will be chosen.
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I would go a little further (in private if necessary). In the absence of conclusive and validated medical evidence, it should be noted that any conference or school that manipulates the automated bidding system does so at its own risk.
In other words: Want to keep your favorite league at home to sneak in an extra team? That’s all I’m saying. No automatic bets next year. Or, to really get their attention, play a conference tournament without your best teams on the field? OK. There is no receiving unit for this year’s AQ.
The NCAA has stated that any team that hits COWID-19 can isolate individuals and continue to play. It would be incredibly unfortunate for a team to lose a star player, but so would an ankle sprain or an academic suspension.
Nothing in this situation is fair. The idea was to make it as fair as possible. Deciding who gets to play when I don’t think is fair.
My answer if a highly ranked team misses the tournament for suspicious reasons? It’s very simple.
I hope they enjoy the game….
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