Official March Madness 2020 tournament basketballs are seen in a store room at the CHI Health Center Arena, in Omaha, Neb., Monday, March 16, 2020. Omaha was to host a first and second round in the NCAA college basketball Division I tournament, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

No Brackets Released for NCAA Tournament

For the first time since 1939, a men’s national champion will not be decided with the spread of COVID-19.

After the NCAA cancelled the tournament, rumors spread that it might still release a bracket on Selection Sunday. This was in a hope to at least give the team’s the moment when there name is called, securing their spot in the tournament.

Dan Gavitt, NCAA Men’s Basketball vice president, announced in a statement no bracket will be released for the 2020 NCAA Basketball Tournament.

“The important work of the basketball committees is to set up competitively balanced brackets to determine national champions,” Gavitt said. “I don’t believe it’s responsible or fair to do that with incomplete seasons, especially for tournaments that unfortunately won’t be played.”

Days Leading to Tournament

The sports world saw a bizarre sequence of events over just a few days as all games and venues were expected to go as planned on Sunday.

NCAA president Mark Emmert announced Wednesday the NCAA tournament will be held without fans in attendance. Just hours later, the NBA suspended the season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The following morning Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive for the virus too.

Conference tournaments were to be played without fans before they were all cancelled on Thursday. Duke suspended athletics indefinitely and the NCAA was left with no choice but to cancel.

Gavitt said the goal was to find a way to make the tournament happen under any condition that was safe. He also said backup locations were lined up at Kansas City and Indianapolis for the first and second round games. Houston was a backup for the regional site as well.

Florida’s Projection

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the Florida Gators projected as a nine seed playing the eight seed Colorado Buffaloes Friday night in Cleveland, Ohio.

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