I think that we can all agree that there isn’t much about the year 2020 that surprises anybody anymore. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that if too much times goes by without some form of disorder, then it is more of the exception to this calendar year than the rule. This line of thinking has made its way through every single sport ever since the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled, and now things are coming back around full circle thanks to what our beloved conference has proposed.
Yesterday coaches from the ACC proposed that every single Division-I NCAA team play in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
To paint a clearer picture of this idea, there are 346 basketball teams in Division-I. The thought behind this idea is that several ACC coaches would prefer not to play the non-conference season due to safety reasons, and would instead like to participate in what would be the largest NCAA tournament ever. According to ESPN Mike Krzyzewski is the one spearheading the push for this to happen, and in a statement he said that there is no better way to celebrate the game than to include every team in the tournament.
Yesterday following the introduction of this idea, people on Twitter had a lot of mixed reactions. The overwhelmingly big question would be how this all would work, and that’s not a question that can be easily answered. NCAA President Mark Emmert has already shared concerns about having the NCAA Tournament in it’s current 68-team format, and says that he can’t see any way that it can happen without utilizing a bubble model like the NBA. Adding over 200 teams to the equation make things infinitely harder from a logistics perspective, thus making it unlikely for this idea to gain any real traction.
The biggest factor in all of this is still and will always be COVID-19. Figuring out the best way to have a college basketball season at all is something that has to be done very carefully, and if it becomes too complicated then it is potentially putting health and/or lives at risk. It is extremely hard to fathom a bubble system with that many teams in one place, and the only real solution would involve multiple bubble locations. Would that work? Possibly, but also much like a lot of things in sports this year it hasn’t been done before so it’s really hard to say. I certainly understand why the ACC would propose this idea, but figuring out how it would work is fairly difficult.
If COVID-19 magically disappeared next month, I would enjoy seeing a tournament with every D-1 team participating. Rarely is there a chance for the NCAA to do something this unique, and I feel like it would create a lot of memorable moments. Picture all of the losses that Duke has had in the tournament to teams they had no business losing to on an extremely large scale, and it’s hard to not get a little excited. The amount of drama, excitement, and flat-out enjoyment that this idea would bring to all of us is something that we all could use after what has been going on this year. Dreams may end up remaining dreams when everything is said and done, but as I mentioned earlier, never say never in the year 2020.
What do you think of the idea that the ACC came up with? Would you be in favor of a Division-1 Battle Royale for the NCAA championship? Let us know in the comments below.