As the spread of COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives, major changes have hit the sports world.
After news on March 12th that the ACC men’s basketball tournament was canceled, the Virginia Athletics Department made the decision that all UVA sports, both practices and games, would be suspended until further notice. Carla Williams, the UVA Athletics Director, issued a statement saying that these conditions would be reevaluated on a daily basis. However, with many other schools making similar moves, as well as the MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and other sports leagues making these adjustments, it is difficult to know if spring sports will be able to start again.
The next announcement to come through is the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments and all other winter and spring NCAA championships. March Madness is a highlight of the year for basketball fans, with competitive and dramatic games available to watch regularly. On top of being a massively popular event, March Madness is an extremely profitable month for the NCAA, so there will be financial repercussions to this cancellation.
With the college basketball season being officially over, teams and fans across the country have to cope with this disappointing ending. Unfortunately, this means seniors Braxton Key and Mamadi Diakite have played their final games as Hoos. Although this is certainly not the way they expected their final season to end, they were able to finish with a win over Louisville, who at the time was ranked tenth in the country. After a rocky start to the season, UVA recovered from some early stumbles and put together an impressive end to the regular season. The Hoos finished with an eight game win streak and went from a team that many people did not think would make the NCAA tournament to the #17 ranked team overall. It is difficult to not think about what could have been because UVA was red-hot going into the postseason, but unfortunately it seems that we will never know how this team would have fared in the conference and national tournaments.
One positive takeaway is that Wahoo fans can bask in the glory of being reigning national champions for a little bit longer.