The cancellation of the NCAA tournaments is the latest and one of the most significant impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the sports world.
A staple of the American cultural landscape that annually demands the attention of hoops junkies, casual fans, bracket novices and gamblers alike has suddenly been eliminated. In a day, week and month full of stunning news, the loss of March Madness is a gut punch, even as many agree it was a prudent decision.
While fans mourn the loss of one of the sports calendar’s crown jewels, the impact pales in comparison to that on the student-athletes who worked so hard to get to this point and won’t reap the benefits. Many of them won’t have another chance to play in March.
Players, fans, coaches and professionals who cover the sport used social media to share their thoughts and feelings after Thursday’s decision was announced.
NCAA players weigh in
Heartbreaking but the right thing to do😕 https://t.co/c0FBcChNZB— Cassius Stanley (@cassius_stanley) March 12, 2020
So you telling me I transferred to not play in the tournament 😒— Ryan Woolridge (@_CallMeSmoove) March 12, 2020
I wish all of this was just a dream that I could wake up from ... Wish i could play one more game with my brothers ... 💔😓— Trey Landers (@tlanders_03) March 12, 2020
This is tough for real 💔— Jordan Nwora (@JordanNwora) March 12, 2020
😞 not like this— Ryan McMahon (@RyanMcMahon) March 12, 2020
Definitely didn’t think this would be how my time at UW ends. It’s been an amazing ride the past 5 years. Thanks to everyone who has helped make me the player I am today. #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/YJ6b7hGpv5— Brevin Pritzl (@LilB_Pritz1) March 12, 2020
Dreamed of playing in March Madness ever since I was a kid. The saddest part is how many hours and hard work we’ve put into this season, but I was always told to never stress over things that’s out of your control. God got us 🙏🏼☝🏼— Zach Harvey (@zachxharvey) March 12, 2020
The mother of Dayton’s National Player of the Year candidate Obi Toppin shared her feelings as well.
March sadness 😢— R Toppin (@roni_toppin) March 12, 2020
Coaches share their thoughts
I respect the NCAA’s decision to put everyone’s safety first. That said, every team deserves recognition for their season’s success. Brackets should still be announced on Selection Sunday.— Bobby Hurley (@BobbyHurley11) March 12, 2020
Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton:— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 12, 2020
“Seniors, if they want, should have another year. Special permission on scholarship numbers for an unprecedented circumstance. Next year only.”
"Extremely disappointed. ... All of us felt that we could postpone."— ESPN (@espn) March 12, 2020
Gonzaga Men's Basketball coach Mark Few gives his thoughts after hearing that the NCAA tournament has been canceled. pic.twitter.com/rlhG9ABylz
The health and safety of our student-athletes, support staff, families and friends are the top priority at this moment. pic.twitter.com/Jy81jcp6jW— Mike Brey (@NDMikeBrey) March 12, 2020
1) We are disappointed we aren’t able to continue our season, but this is much bigger than basketball. This is a worldwide issue and we understand that difficult decisions needed to be made.— Purdue’s Matt Painter (@CoachPainter) March 12, 2020
Media weigh in
This is why the right decisions have been made the past 48 hours. A referee at the CAA tournament has tested positive. pic.twitter.com/s2KfszFG43— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) March 12, 2020
I didn’t realize it at the time, but this is the final shot of Sabrina Ionescu wearing an Oregon uniform that I got.— Andrew G. Haubner (@A_G_Haubner) March 12, 2020
Feels weird looking at it today. pic.twitter.com/hYdXznmKig
There was no other choice by @NCAA but to cancel @marchmadness my heart goes out to all the players, coaches and fans, etc that dream of being part of this magical tournament. However, this is the time where sports must take the back seat to the concerns of public health.— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 12, 2020
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