The Kentucky Wildcats are slated to be in the Champions Classic along with Kansas, Duke and Michigan State. Kentucky and Kansas are scheduled to play December 1, so the window to potentially cancel and find a new location is closing.
While that specific tournament is still likely to happen, it may no longer be held in Orlando. Many college basketball’s MTEs held in Orlando may be up in the air according to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander.
“Widespread concern is quickly escalating over the stability — if not survival — of every Orlando-based ESPN event,” he noted on Twitter. That was in one of a multi-tweet threat that laid out the concerns and rules for MTEs in ESPN’s Orlando-based locations.
Here are a few of the more notable tweets from Norlander.
ESPN released two editions of its protocols to teams last week but the measures laid out were not enough to assuage concerns for many. One rule: if someone in your traveling party test positive for COVID, you have to be quarantined in Orlando for 14 days at the team's expense.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) October 25, 2020
That said, there is good news though. The tournaments are not over; they may just have to be re-located which could cause a plethora of issues by itself.
There would be other possibilities for playing tournament that don’t have to be held in Orlando, and Norlander seems confident that the Champions Classic would be held in some capacity.
The NBA successfully did a Orlando-based restart, so the hope is there that it is doable.
At the same time, the NBA funds and what they had at their disposal may not be even close to what every collegiate program has, especially if they have to finance any potential quarantine.
About a month away, this NCAA basketball season, given the issues already with scheduling and testing, could be filled with controversy before the the games are even tipped.