Unfortenly there’s a big debate going on within the College Basketball world that canceling the conference tournaments would be a good idea because of the Covid situation with the NCAA Tournament, which is a terrible idea. Conference Championship week is to March Madness, what peanut butter is to jelly, they just go together.
Taking that away would provide both a massive financial loss to the conferences. It would also take away the once in lifetime opportunities for a championship that a lot of these would have had if they played in a conference tournament.
Here’s the thing, like college football, this college basketball season has been the best one to date. The reason for that? It’s quite simple. It’s because having something to look forward to twice a week has given this country a glimmer of hope during these difficult times.
Some have argued that having conference tournaments would put the student-athletes at risk of not being able to compete in the NCAA Tournament due to catching Covid-19 at these tournaments. Which, is valid, but these kids could contract the virus by going to McDonald’s on a Friday night. It’s not fair to use that as an excuse to punish these kids who have worked so hard, especially the kids who play in the mid-major conferences or at programs that are on the bubble and without any real shot at the Big Dance without a Conference Championship win.
Not to mention, if conference tournaments aren’t played this season, some might say the NCAA Tournament is invalid without a true national champion. Some of the greatest March Madness moments have come from teams who won their conference tournaments and pulled off stunning upsets in the NCAA Tournament. Most recently, UMBC becoming the first-ever 16-seed to beat a number one seed in Virginia. That legendary moment in College Basketball history would not have been possible without UMBC upsetting Vermont in the American East Conference Championship game to earn a bid to the Big Dance.
Conference Tournaments should happen this season, and if they don’t happen, it will serve as a great disservice to the great sport of College Basketball and to the student-athletes that make it so great.