The above image was taken just 28 minutes before tipoff of the Thursday session of the 2020 Big Ten Tournament. Shortly after it was taken Rutgers and Michigan came out to warm up in an empty arena, but left the floor after a few minutes. by 18 minutes before tipoff the news came through press row:
The 2020 Big Ten Tournament was cancelled.
Naturally, there was a lot of grousing. The handful of media in the cavernous arena was upset with how it was handled. Some complained about missing out on a St. Elmo’s reservation. Others complained about travel only to have it cancelled, almost literally, at the last minute. We were quickly hustled off the floor and into the media room located on the Pacers’ practice court.
None of that matters now.
It is unlike anything we have ever experienced, with callbacks to the 1918 pandemic that swept the globe. I really do hope that all of this is done in an overabundance of caution and we can all laugh at it in a month.
But what if it is not?
That’s why we do this out of concern. If the experts in this say a shutdown is needed then, well, a shutdown is needed, and basketball is secondary. The CDC and the WHO are not going to sound a worldwide alarm for nothing.
Obviously, we’re all on hold here. Who knows what is going to happen next. An NCAA Tournament seems unlikely and, honestly, quite unimportant at the moment. I urge everyone to stay safe. Be smart. I don’t have one of my usual smartass comments here because I am not an expert. I am not a virologist. I am just some smartass sports blogger.
Stay safe, everyone.