Preseason college basketball tournaments are usually held in places where fans of the team can enjoy a few days of fun while taking in the basketball.
The Maui Classic packs in the chi-chi donors from seven schools and Chaminade into a gym with no air conditioning. Vegas hosts enough holiday tournaments where you could see 12 games a day if you were willing to miss large portions of each. And the world-famous and abnormally expensive Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas usually plays their games in a ballroom where people can drink their $8 Diet Cokes from the temporary stands and watch some really good hoops between trips down the waterslide.
But that won’t happen this year, as instead due to Covid-19 the tournament will move to... Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Sources: The 2020 Battle 4 Atlantis will be played at the Sanford Pentagon in South Dakota. Dates are TBD.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 14, 2020
Field includes Duke, West Virginia, Memphis, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Utah, Creighton, and Wichita State.
This is no knock on the denizens of Sioux Falls, a lovely town I’m sure, but this... this is not an upgrade for those attending. You’re going from an aquarium that’s the largest open-air marine habitat in the world, with sharks swimming over your head to... the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History. I mean it looks fine on the internet. A lovely day I’m sure.
But the high temperature on Thanksgiving last year:
Sioux Falls: 27 degrees.
Nassau: 82 degrees.
There will be some outstanding basketball however, as the Duke Blue Devils and Creighton Bluejays will open 2020 in the Top 10, and the West Virginia Mountaineers should be ranked as well. But that might not ease the minds of the players that we’re looking forward to sunshine and palm trees, only to end up with drilling wells and permafrost.
2020 has come for the college basketball tournament season. Can we fast forward to 2021 already?