The games played between American universities, where the best rookies in the NBA come from, responded with extreme measures to the pandemic.
Competitions around the world have struggled with the coronavirus. / Photo: Unsplash
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño
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Leer en español: Locura de Marzo, amenazada por el coronavirus
March Madness, or 'March Madness' as it is known in the United States, one of the biggest basketball events of the year, is facing difficulties from the coronavirus.
What is March Madness?
In case you do not know, March Madness is the most important tournament of the National University Sports Association of the United States. In it, the best university basketball teams compete in a competition where a single loss is equivalent to elimination. This year, if all goes well, the event will take place from March 17 to April 6.
Madness has three factors that make it a much more exciting event to watch than others. In the first place, the performance of the players in it is decisive to enter the NBA, since the recruitment of that organization is only three months after this tournament and the scouts are aware of the stars that arise in it. The case of Zion Williamson comes to mind, the current first NBA prospect who according to SBNation had a camera designated only for him by CBS due to his incredible performance (26 points and 8.5 rebounds on average).
Additionally, the practice of gambling in different games has become very common among North Americans. Many online portals offer the ability to create their own predictions of tournament results, and the event certainly moves dollars between betting sites.
Lastly, even if they don't make it to the NBA, the media coverage provided by March Madness is sometimes enough to launch the professional careers of many basketball players in other organizations.
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NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight's Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
However, the rapid expansion of the coronavirus is a cause for concern among tournament fans. Fear of illness has already caused the NBA itself to suspend its preseason games until further notice after it was discovered that Rudy Gobert center for the Utah Jazz was positive for the Covid-19.
As for the NCAA, on Wednesday they announced that their matches would be played without spectators due to the current crisis. The organization's president Mark Emerret spoke on the matter to ESPN: "Although I can understand how disappointing this is for fans of our sports, my decision is based on our current understanding of the progress of COVID-19 in the United States ... This decision is for the welfare of public health, including that of our students' coaches, administrators, fans, and most importantly, we recognize that the opportunity to participate in an NCAA tournament is a unique experience in life for students and their families. Today we will go ahead and hold tournaments according to the information we currently have and will continue to monitor and make changes as needed. "
Emerret, however, did not rule out the possibility of completely canceling the event.