There Will Be Madness

There are no doubts about the status of March Madness this year.

It's on.

It may all be in Indiana. It may all be with limited fans, or none at all. But it's going to happen.

Before we go into that, let's take a step back at the success of college football this year, despite many loud voices acting as modern-day Chicken Littles.

This summer, there were a large number of sports journalists who, oddly enough, rooted against sports. They predicted mass hospitalizations and deaths of athletes aplenty. They cheered the Big Ten's initial cancellation of the football season (let's face it, calling it a postponement was a joke) and waved a myocarditis article around like it was a winning lottery ticket.

They were proven fools. And, despite Ohio State being a good team, one still shakes their head at how they're playing in the national championship tomorrow night, mostly because of Big Ten reversals, first in bringing back a football season and second in bending the rules to help Ohio State in any way possible.

The most glaring article of them all was from Christine Brennan, who called the Big Ten's return to football "the darkest day in college sports." She was wrong. Dead wrong. She knows it. I doubt she ever admits it. Same for Dan Wolken and a laundry list of others.

So football's successful completion of a season brings us to basketball. Similar to football, there have been some cancellations of games and schedules have had to be adjusted. But the conferences have figured out how to adjust. In a time where resilience and flexibility is needed, athletic programs are figuring it out.

The move by the NCAA to put it all in Indiana makes sense. It's a smart plan. It keeps travel tight and allows close proximity to move and adjust games when needed. It keeps things flowing in a tournament that demands it.

Furthermore, the NCAA can't afford for March Madness to be cancelled again.

The NCAA makes the majority of its money through its championship events (which is why they'd shudder if the Power Five ever broke free). The men's basketball tournament makes up 90 percent of the NCAA's yearly revenue.


If March Madness disappears, the NCAA will go down with it. They will have this tournament no matter what. And as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widespread, let's hope the College World Series returns, as well. Omaha definitely could use the revenue boost that college baseball brings.

But for now, take a deep breath, basketball fans. Especially those fans in Spokane, where Gonzaga looks more primed than ever to finally claim the national title.

There won't be a campaign to stop college hoops. This tournament is happening. And one more step towards normalcy will be taken; which is a win for all of us.

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