Brown On NCAA Tournament: Contact Is Unavoidable

Players can skip handshakes all they want; they're still handling the same ball

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 12, 2020 - 9:15 am
Syracuse North Carolina

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread globally and throughout the United States, the NCAA has stated that only “essential staff and limited family” will be allowed to attend NCAA Tournament games. But after the NBA suspended its season Wednesday, there are serious doubts as to whether the tournament will even take place.

“There’s definitely a lot more fist-bumps and elbow-bumps as opposed to just slapping five,” college basketball analyst CL Brown said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “But that’s during the actual handshakes and greetings. On the actual court, it seemed like last night that you still slap a player on the hand if you’re actually playing. You’re handling the same ball as everybody. There’s no way to avoid some kind of contact if you’re playing basketball – if you’re playing the right way, anyway. That’s kind of unavoidable. But everything outside of actual game action seems like guys are being a lot more cautious.”

Brown said that players didn’t seem overly anxious or fearful about what lies ahead.

“No, there seems to be, at least from the players that I talked to, it just seems like they’re resigned to the fact that this is what it is, so let’s just make the best of the situation and let’s be cautious about how we do things,” Brown said. “But it didn’t seem like anybody was overly fearful. Elijah Hughes from Syracuse sticks out, even saying that he’d be disappointed if they canceled March Madness altogether, but he understood why.”