COVID-19 Outbreak Causes Cancellation of March Madness

The Cancellation of the NCAA Men’s Annual Basketball Tournament Leaves Fans Disappointed

Zachary Gray, Staff Writer

Raphine, Va – Due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the annual NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament known as March Madness was cancelled on March 13. 

With 68 teams participating, March Madness is one of the largest single elimination tournaments in sports. Part of what draws basketball fans to March Madness is the competition aspect, as the last team standing is the NCAA men’s basketball champion.

Not only does March Madness determine a college basketball champion, it also gives players who are not as popular throughout the season a chance to make a name for themselves before they enter the NBA draft.

The cancellation of March Madness leaves a lot of questions. Some of these questions are seniors not having the chance to play out the rest of their last season, how a champion will be crowned, and how every season after this one will pan out due to the shutdown.

Even though this cancellation has caused many setbacks and difficulties, it was put into place to protect the players and fans from contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Many sports fans look forward to this yearly tournament, because of their teams participating and the bracket that is involved with the tournament. With 68 teams participating, it is extremely difficult to guess who will win the tournament. Many companies allow bets to take place and money prizes for brackets being correct according to who wins and loses throughout the tournament.

With no sports being televised, sports fans have found alternative brackets to make during the void that the cancellation of March Madness has created. These brackets include almost anything you can think of; ranging from different types of foods to different types of memes.

Students around Bridgewater’s campus had mixed emotions when hearing about the cancellation, but most of them were aggravation and anger. 

“I was mad when I found out March madness was cancelled, even though my team probably wouldn’t have made it.There isn’t much on TV for me to watch now because of it and I miss the opportunity of making bets and brackets like I usually do each year,” said senior Keegan Oliver. 

“I’m mad that I don’t get to make my brackets,” said freshman Colin Strickland. 

“It sucks but it was needed in order to protect the athletes and fans,” said sophomore Kellen Hodge. Hodge was a member of the men’s basketball team for Bridgewater College during the 2019-2020 season.

With the speed that COVID-19 is spreading, the NCAA needed to make a decision to protect the athletes and fans for the future of the program. 

Spring and summer sports that were just beginning before the outbreak of COVID-19 are not expected to resume until the month of July.  Therefore, the United States will remain sportless for at least the next three months. Until then, sport networks are televising reruns of sporting events that happened in the past to comply with the shutdown of sporting events.