College Basketball Coach Has Unique Idea For NCAA Tournament

Greg Arias

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA elected to cancel the remainder of conference basketball tournaments and the NCAA Tournament in March to protect players, coaches, workers, and fans from potentially contracting or spreading the virus. 

Because of that decision, there will be no NCAA champions for the 2019-20 season unless you take the suggestion of one Power Five conference head basketball coach. 

Bob Huggins, head basketball coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers has a suggestion on how to crown a champion after all. 

This story was first shared on our Sports Illustrated West Virginia site by Quinn Birkitt as Huggins, appearing on a phone interview with The Cook and Joe Show in Pittsburgh, introduced the idea of holding the NCAA Tournament to open the 2020-21 basketball season.   

“So why don’t we start the season off with the NCAA tournament? The NCAA can get its money and distribute it to the schools. It solves a lot of problems. They know who was in it and who was going to play who. They know where we were going to play. What’s it going to take? Three weekends? Big deal. Kids aren’t going to miss class that much. You’re going to play on the weekends,” said Huggins.

While the idea itself is not terrible, some issues would make its application challenging and different. 

First, the venues booked to host the regionals through the Final Four might not be available at the time needed to make this happen. 

Secondly, with NCAA not granting an extra year of eligibility to basketball players, the teams that would take part in the 68 team field would be markedly different than the teams that ended the previous season. That would mean whoever won the tournament might not be the team that would have cut down the nets had things gone as initially scheduled. 

While basketball fans might love the idea of two NCAA Tournaments in one season, it is highly unlikely that the powers that be in Indianapolis would think much of the plan, though never say never when it comes to the NCAA and money. 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven

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