The hot topic around College Basketball these days is whether it is safe, or smart, to have conference tournaments this season due to COVID-19. As we inch closer to the end of the regular season, we are seeing more people, and more coaches, speak out about how playing in a conference tournament is a bad idea. The question is simple: is it worth the risk of possibly missing out on the NCAA Tournament?
Think about a team like Gonzaga. They surely have entrenched themselves as the number one seed, maybe even the top overall. Would there be any benefit for them to play in a conference tournament knowing that the only outcome would be the negative of losing a top player due to COVID protocols?
On the other hand, there are teams like Arizona State. A team with all the potential in the world. A team that on any given day, can beat anyone in the country. Unfortunately for them, they haven’t hit their stride yet. With no conference tournament, and the automatic NCAA Tournament bid that comes with it, they may not be given a chance to prove their potential.
Sure, even with all the circumstances surrounding this season, some teams have found a way to keep winning games, and have earned their way into the NCAA Tournament. But has everyone really been on the same playing field?
Look at the Ducks on the Men’s side. They have played 12 games this season, compared to a PAC-12 Conference high California, who has played 19. At this point, I find it rather unlikely that Oregon is able to find a way to play the same number of games as most everyone else in the country. That doesn’t mean they aren’t deserving of a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but it might cost them a seed or two.
There is a compelling argument for both sides. On one hand, player safety is always of the utmost importance, as it should be. Would players be put at greater risk by playing in a conference tournament, more so than any other time during the season? On the other hand, why not play the games if you have already gone through every other part of the season?
The reality is, this entire season has been a roller coaster ride for the players, the coaches, and fans all over the country. Nearly every team has had to deal with some sort of delay or postponement because of COVID protocols. Whether it be within their own team, or because of an opponent. The conference and NCAA Tournaments would be no different.
For a top ranked team who has already guaranteed themselves a high seed in the NCAA Tournament, no it probably isn’t worth it to play. A team that is fighting for a chance to make the NCAA Tournament, yes, it absolutely would be worth it. I’m not sure if there is a wrong or right answer.
If both Ducks teams, Men and Women, are in similar positions to where they are right now, what are your thoughts on them playing in the PAC-12 Tournament? Should they play, try to gain momentum and a better seed, or would you rather them not risk it and have a better chance of having a full squad ready for the NCAA Tournament?
Coach Alex Nordstrand
Top Photo By Gary Breedlove
Announcement: FishDuck is going to four days a week for a few months, (Sunday-Monday-Wednesday-Friday) and the next article will be Friday. Go to the forum for more topics and Oregon Sports News!
Alex is a lifelong Duck fan living in Eugene who goes to every Football and Basketball game that he can, and appreciates his wife for putting up with him during those seasons. Sports have always been his biggest passion, having played and coached Basketball at the High School level. He hopes to bring a unique and deeper understanding of both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams at Oregon, and looks forward to nerding out with everyone while writing and talking Ducks!
For Football Season: FishDuck Back to Seven Days a Week!
I had to shut down the daily articles on July 20th because I could no longer work the extra 3 to 12 hours per week of certain managerial/editorial duties. (beyond the usual ones with FishDuck)
I’ve had a blast writing without those duties, and now, due to a new agreement with the writers, I can announce that we will have articles seven days a week again. I wish to thank the writers publicly for their graciousness in coming to a solution, as now I still do not have do those extra duties with our agreement, and meanwhile the writers are back having fun creating articles as I am.
Everybody is happy! So below is the new schedule through football season:
Monday: Mr. FishDuck
Tuesday: Darren Perkins
Wednesday: Joshua Whitted & Mr. FishDuck
Thursday: Coach Eric Boles & Alex Heining
Friday: David Marsh
Saturday: Mr. FishDuck (GameDay Baby!)
Sunday: Jordan Ingram
A couple of writers could not join us as they have new projects in their lives, and cannot write for anyone at the moment–but perhaps we will see them back later.
Things rarely work out so well for all parties in agreements, but this time it has and truly….everyone wins!
Our 33 rules at FishDuck can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
FishDuck members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!