March Madness Turns to Sadness
Most of us get pumped up when college basketball’s most exciting time of the year – March Madness – rolls onto the court and featuring many players who participated in the City of Palms Classic. This month, however, all those maddening dunks, buzzer beaters, Cinderella stories will go silent for most fans as a result of the pandemic created by the coronavirus or COVID-19.
The NCAA announced that all men’s and women’s tournament games will be played with only essential personnel and limited family members, meaning most fans will only have access to the games through television or other digital platforms.
The pandemic was declared after the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus have skyrocketed. There are confirmed deaths, many states have declared states of emergency and many conference basketball tournaments are also being played in empty arenas. All Florida universities and colleges have announced they are suspending on-campus classes but providing for online learning. Also, all students have been told to leave campus.
The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has never been cancelled for any reason – even during World War II. It has been played each year since 1939. At the time, Ohio State coach Harold Olsen came up with the idea for the tournament, which was in direct competition with the National Invitation Tournament, the more prestigious event at the time.