[Source] - "We [were] completely convinced at 4 p.m. on Wednesday that we could conduct the championships without fans by controlling the sites effectively," Emmert said. "We thought we could control the perimeters and control the environment, and, as best as possible, travel, because it's mostly charter travel and buses one way or another. We felt really confident about it. We were feeling really, really good."
"When Rudy Gobert was infected on Wednesday night, I think the realization in the basketball community hit home and was very much felt on Thursday morning," Gavitt said. "The student-athletes, from what we were hearing and sensing, felt very vulnerable. Here was someone they would all like to be one day, playing in the NBA, who got infected and was quarantined with his teammates. His opponents were quarantined.
"That was really, in my opinion, a seminal moment in everybody's mindset about how impractical and possibly not responsible it would be at that point to go forward with trying to hold these national championships."
I know all articles and reports like this are just reopening a wound, but here we are. It's not exactly shocking that this came out, but it just hurts all over again. Granted, I don't know how the NCAA would have gotten away with playing the NCAA Tournament if everything else was canceled over the weekend.
But the moment Rudy Gobert tested positive on Wednesday night, it just felt like that was over. Every person associated with college hoops that I talk to had the same text conversation. 'This is it, right?' Ultimately we were guessing but everyone was right. The next morning/early afternoon, every conference tournament was canceled and by late afternoon the NCAA Tournament was done.
But say Gobert didn't test positive. Would that have bought more time? Perhaps. I'm guessing the NBA goes about Wednesday night playing with business as usual and we wake up Thursday to college hoops. But there's no way that as of this morning we'd be talking about the NCAA Tournament still going on. Not with states straight up shutting down.
Would the 16-team tournament been more possible?
No. The answer is still no. There's just no way anything happens after everything that was said across states last night. Honestly, I'm glad we lost college hoops when we did. The last thing I wanted was to get through conference tournaments or get to Sunday and then have it taken away from us. That would have been somehow more torturous.
To think this video played a major role in the NCAA Tournament being canceled when it did is such an outrageous thought: