This is starting to become the common thought process in talking to people across the sport. Gary talks about it above and numerous other people have brought up the same idea. We obviously know college hoops will do anything to have an NCAA Tournament in 2021 after losing the 2020 NCAA Tournament. But the question was always what would happen with the regular season, especially as conferences like the Ivy League and Patriot League push back fall sports to 2021. Remember, Pitino actually suggested this a few weeks back:
What Gary is saying and what's been talked about is the buy-game factor. Those are games where a low major travels to a high major, gets paid a few hundred thousand dollars and the high major profits from ticket sales, concession sales, etc. They also get the easy win and it's a way for multiple schools to profit at once. Without fans, you lose ticket sales and concession stands and therefore can't pay the low major to travel.
I'm very much in the boat of give me anything. Just give me college hoops. If I have to wait until January, I'll wait until January, I'll wait until January. Really I just wish they would drop the whole amateurism is what they really are bullshit and do this right. Set it up AAU style and you can knock this season out no problem. Look at TBT and NBA and everything else, put them in a bubble. Put the conferences where they play their conference tournament. Each team plays 2-3x a week and you can knock out the 20 regular season games in 6-8 weeks. Then play your conference tournament. Then have Selection Sunday and put the 64 teams in Indianapolis where the Final Four is supposed to be this year and set it up AAU style with multiple gyms/courts for the same tournament in the same area. You have a bunch of colleges there, you have Lucas Oil, you have Bankers Life. Plenty of options and have a regular NCAA Tournament schedule. But because that would force people to acknowledge these athletes are playing to help fund colleges, amateurism will be proven false.
I understand we still have a long way to go for the season to start, but we're talking about putting these guys on campus here soon, if they aren't on already. It's going to be impossible to create a true bubble life with college sports like we see elsewhere in pro sports. But just please, any sort of season I'll take. I need any sort of season.
And the reason for conference play only is simply standardized testing and protocols within the league. Obviously the major conferences have more money and can have different protocols than the real low majors. That's why you can't do local playing - take for instance in Cincinnati where UC could book Xavier, NKU, Ohio State, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (OH), Butler and more all within a 2 hour radius. But they are all different conferences, so protocol will be different. Again, just start figuring it out and come to a joint conclusion of what to do and let us binge eat, drink and gamble in March.