This week, a newly crowned national champion should’ve begun celebrating an undefeated NCAA Tournament run — but the COVID-19 outbreak put a stop to that before it could begin. Still, some college basketball figures are considering how to make up the missed tournament — and the revenue that was missed with it.
West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins gave an interview to a Pittsburgh radio station where he suggested kicking off the 2020-21 basketball season with the NCAA Tournament that should’ve just wrapped up this week.
“Let’s face it, there’s a great chance we’re not going to have college football,” Huggins told The Cook and Joe Show, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Putting that many people together is going to be rough. I wouldn’t want to have to make that decision. 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.”
Huggins suggested that high-major teams that would’ve been likely to receive at-large bids be placed on the bracket with data the selection committee had available. Meanwhile, he suggested low- and mid-major programs play conference tournaments to crown a champion to place on the bracket.
“They know who was in it and who was going to play who. They know where we were going to play. What, it’s going to take three weekends? Big deal.”
Of graduating senior players, Huggins suggested that they be allowed to come back and play in a hypothetical make-up tournament.
“Why can’t you make it their choice?” Huggins asked. “We had three seniors. I guarantee you all three would want to play, and it would fill a void that was left when they couldn’t play. I don’t see what that would hurt to let those guys play.”