It’s official: the remainder of the SEC Tournament has been called off.
ALERT: Based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southeastern Conference today announced the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 12, 2020
With the dominoes falling as quickly as they have, this is not completely unexpected. However, that does not change the devastation of a decision on those that it impacts directly. That is not to say this was the wrong decision, but it is certainly a big one.
Perhaps the biggest shock is that this came in the middle of the tournament after several games had been played; some with fans, some without. Some would say that it is unfair to not crown a tournament champion, especially with an automatic NCAA Tournament bid on the line. However, given the high percentage of conferences cancelling tournaments, I expect the Big Dance to be cancelled soon as well.
I know fans are bummed. I realize that many spent money on travel, hotels, and tickets. And in the grand scheme of things it’s “just basketball.” But for some of these guys, when things get back to normal they may have missed out on major opportunities to prove themselves ready for an NBA career. Coaches may lose their jobs when a few more tournament wins could have saved them.
Again, there is always a microscope on athletics and it dominates the news. But actual lives are being impacted in a big way all over the country. These cancellations are meant to help limit those impacted in the long run.