The U.S. borders are still wide open, air travel from China and Italy has not been terminated, and little testing is being done. An NBA game and later the entire season was canceled after a possibly infected player was ordered not to attend the game. Luckily fans were told to leave the Corona free sports arena to prevent the player, that wasn’t there, from infecting the crowd while performing. Disney sports shortly thereafter launched wall to wall coverage praising the NBA’s leadership, urging the NCAA to follow the herd. By 9:00 AM eastern standard time the NCAA tournament will be cancelled and will fail to regain its popularity in subsequent seasons. World Wars did not stop collegiate athletics, but thanks to 24/7 digital news cycle and synthetic flu, the show will not go on. Years from now, Grandfathers will tell their grandchildren where they were on 3/11.
After my bracket busted on day one, the excitement of the tournament quickly began to wane. Like every year, hope springs eternal, and then quickly washes away with the spring showers. In 2019, it’s all about chalk! The top 3 seeds in each region advanced for the first time since 2009, second time since the field expanded to 64 in 1985, in addition to half the 4’s, which spelled doom for my Cinderella rich sweet 16. The big 10 has shined, winning 7 games in the first round tying a NCAA record that could have been broken had Wisconsin defeated red hot 12 Oregon, the lowest seed advancing to the round of 16. Not one mid major will make it to the second weekend, for the first time in my memory. Gonzaga not counting of course, having long evolved from mid major March Madness pioneer to Duke west. The most impressive thing I saw all weekend on CBS was this hair hat.