NCAA Not Discussing Postponing 2022 Men's, Women's Basketball Tournaments

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

COLLEGE PARK, MD - DECEMBER 31:  A view of the NCAA logo on a basketball before the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Michigan Wolverines at the Xfinity Center on December 31, 2020 in College Park, Maryland.  (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

While the omicron variant of COVID-19 has led to spikes in positive tests, canceled and postponed games, and unavailable players across the sports world, the NCAA does not plan on making any adjustments to its men's and women's basketball tournaments.

The NCAA announced it plans on holding the tournaments in March and April at the scheduled locations instead of going to a bubble like it did last year.

NCAA senior vice president in charge of basketball Dan Gavitt explained the organization's mindset, as of Wednesday:

"At this point, we are continuing the planning for the NCAA basketball championships with the normal format, schedule and multiple host sites.
"We are certainly closely monitoring the unfortunate and sudden COVID spike and will consider any adjustments as necessary for the health, safety and success of the championships. However, despite the current challenges we're experiencing in college basketball, the solutions to these problems during this phase of the pandemic are likely quite different than the dramatic championship format changes we had to adopt last year."

A number of sports have faced issues such as cancellations or players sidelined because of COVID, and men's college basketball is no exception.

In fact, Gary Parrish of CBS Sports noted more than 70 teams have paused this season with approximately 100 games being called off. High-profile programs such as Duke, Ohio State, Florida, Georgetown, Louisville and UConn are among the teams that have gone on pause.

It also isn't a stretch to suggest the issues will continue as players return to campus after spending time at holiday gatherings.

The NCAA men's and women's tournaments were canceled in 2020 as the pandemic was in its early stages in the United States. However, the NCAA adjusted in 2021 and created a bubble-like environment in Indianapolis for the men's competition and in San Antonio for the women's competition.

There was criticism about differences in amenities between the men and women, although both tournaments were played with Baylor's men and Stanford's women taking home the national titles.

This year's men's tournament starts with the First Four on March 15 and 16, while the women's tournament starts on March 18. The men's Final Four is in New Orleans, and the women's Final Four is in Minneapolis.