The college basketball season is entering the home stretch and that means March Madness is right around the corner. A sports enthusiast and wellness guru Peter Nyberg regularly follows the major sports and notes that this has been an interesting season. Many teams have had to cancel games, many traditional power programs are struggling, and while the tournament will likely go forward, it could quickly be disrupted by COVID-19.
“It’s been an interesting season so far. A lot of teams have had to pause or outright cancel games,” Peter Nyberg notes. “This has caused problems for TV channels, coaches, the athletes, fans, and more. Teams heading to the tournament will try to put themselves into protective bubbles as the NBA did, but COVID-19 is a slippery virus.”
Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski, arguably the most accomplished college basketball coach in the game, previously said that it was time to “reassess” playing basketball amid the pandemic. His team, among many others, has struggled and Coach K may not make the March Madness tournament this year.
“Duke has struggled,” Peter Nyberg notes, “but so too have many other big programs. Kentucky likely isn’t going to the tournament, Michigan State is a long shot, and UNC may miss out as well. Kansas might make it, but they probably won’t be winning the Big 12 this year as they often do.”
So what has teams out of sorts? Peter Nyberg offers insights.
“Many of the best coaches in the business are at risk of missing the tournament,” Peter Nyberg says. “Izzo, Coach K, Calipari, they may be watching from the outside this year. Why? They’ve had less time to work with players, schedules have been disrupted, teaching is hard, especially with new players. A lot of big teams like Duke and Kentucky rely on young, raw talent. Well, right now young talent may be a liability because they don’t know the system.”
Peter Nyberg Hones In On March Madness Tournament
March Madness is perhaps the biggest sporting event of the year, at least in the United States. Indeed, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament often draws more viewers and money than the Super Bowl and the NFL playoffs. Of course, the tournament features a lot more games.
Last year, the NCAA tournament was canceled. This year, the tournament will involve fewer sites, but college officials will try to make it happen, Peter Nyberg argues. Quite simply, there is too much money involved, and a lot of coaches and players want their chance to win a championship.
“The NCAA tournament is one of the biggest and most lucrative sporting events of the year,” Peter Nyberg says. “There’s a lot of parties who want to see it happen including the coaches, players, and fans.”
Yet at the same time, Peter Nyberg notes, the tournament isn’t a guarantee.
“What happens if teams have to cancel games due to COVID-19? You can’t put the whole tournament on hold for two weeks for one team,” Peter Nyberg points out.
The NCAA, the premiere college athletic administrative body, has already released some early looks at protocols for the tournament. The NCAA has also reserved entire hotels in cities where games are being played in an effort to keep teams isolated. Peter Nyberg believes these efforts will help, but they may not be enough.
“The NCAA is going to great lengths to make the tournament happen,” Peter Nyberg argues. “Still, the virus doesn’t play by our rules or care about what we want to do.