Could ‘The Bubble’ Save The College Basketball Season?
If we're going to talk about sports leagues that have been the most successful in keeping COVID-19 out of their respective games, you have to bring up the term 'bubble'. The bubble has kept things going in the NBA, the NHL, and in the WNBA and MLS. Thousands of tests, and very few positives. Sure, MLB is still playing but several teams have had to miss games due to outbreaks on their teams. Let's face it. The bubble works. But can is save the upcoming college basketball season?
CBS2 reports that the NCAA is getting close to announcing its plans for the 2020-2021 college basketball season. Cleary, officials are looking at the bubble plan as a favorite option. One official said that the bubble is "certainly viable, from a basketball standpoint I think we can follow those models." A vote on a specific plan could come as soon as September 16th. The NCAA would like to start the season in late November or early December.
As CBS2 points out, college football in a bubble just isn't feasible. But basketball is made for the bubble. Travel parties are smaller and basketball already has multi-team events to draw experience from. Add all the safety measures from pro leagues like the NBA, find a number of suitable sites, and the bubble could work.
But where to have the games? The NBA bubble at Disney in Florida worked perfectly for the league. But college basketball should adopt more of an NHL model. That league had two bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton. Basketball would have to do it on a larger scale. Think about it. Basketball bubbles popping up all over the country. But unlike professional athletes, NCAA athletes are also students, so academics would also have to be involved.
All I know is the Iowa men's basketball team could be a top five program this fall and winter. They're already being talked about as a potential national championship contender! Lets hope officials find a way to play!