Among the sequence of sobering emails landing in my inbox last Friday was one from the Associated Press, providing a mournful reminder the sports world had just stopped on a dime.
With no March Madness, we are going to change the schedule for the final polls of the year…
No March Madness. Oh sure, we had learned the day before the NCAA Tournament had become one of the globe’s most prominent coronavirus casualties, but the suddenness of that news alert was numbing.
By contrast, this email stung, perhaps indicating a painful reality was setting in.
At any rate, a process typically done the day after the NCAA title game ― casting my final AP ballot of the season ― was being expedited. In that spirit, I filled it out expeditiously, in about 60 seconds.
It’s a duplicate of my final ballot of the regular season.
While some teams started ― or even completed ― conference tournament play before the NCAA called off its championship, many never made it to the floor. No chance to move up or down in the eyes of voters, much less win a trophy.
Didn’t seem fair to penalize, say, No. 10 BYU (a 51-50 loser to Saint Mary’s in last Monday’s WCC semifinals) while other idle ranked teams ― who very well could have fallen in their league tourneys ― went unscathed.
So for me, that abbreviated championship week was a wash. With that philosophy in mind, here’s the ballot I turned in Monday (and the previous Monday, for that matter).
4. Florida State
5. San Diego State
8. Michigan State
15. Seton Hall
18. Ohio State
24. Utah State