How the Cal-State School Decision Will Affect College Basketball

A decision made now may affect if we will watch college basketball in the next seven months

On Tuesday, May 12, a massive decision was made by the Cal-State Schools to cancel all in-person classes in the fall. Some of these include notable mid-major schools like San José State, Fresno State, and most importantly San Diego State University, who were a projected one or two seed in the now-canceled NCAA tournament. All three of these schools, and the other 19 Cal State schools, will most likely not have nonconference college basketball games due to this decision.

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This immediately affects recruiting and draft decisions for these schools, most notably Malachi Flynn. Flynn was a second-team All American for SDSU last season and put his name in the draft with the option to return. With half the season most likely gone for SDSU, there leaves little reason for him to return. Cal State Northridge’s star Lamine Diane is in the same situation as Flynn, and actually kept his name in the draft, and this can be part of the reason why.

Now for some people, this might not be seen as too much of a problem considering SDSU has been the only notable school affected in this situation, but we have to look at the big picture. If the Cal State schools made this decision, it can be assumed that the UC schools would be the next to follow. This includes potential top 25 teams like USC and UCLA, as well as two other Pac 12 teams in Cal and Stanford. USC has a big-time game against Kansas lined up which would be canceled and are a part of the Roman Legends Classic, which would have to find a team to replace the Trojans.

Unfortunately, California doesn’t even have the highest amount of coronavirus cases and is making this decision. New York and New Jersey have the two most cases and deaths in the USA, so if they also decided to make this decision, then notable top basketball schools like Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. Johns, and Syracuse would miss the nonconference play, to name a few. Illinois also has more cases than California, meaning that Depaul, Illinois, and Northwestern wouldn’t play until late December the earliest.

Just from these schools being closed, the Power 6 conferences would look very different. The Pac 12 would lose 4 teams, the Big East would lose 4, the Big 10 3 as well. The mid-majors would also get hit very heavily, with a lot of the east coast based conferences taking hard hits. Pennsylvania and Michigan also have over 50,000 cases as of right now, which would mean we’d lose three more Big 10 schools in Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State, and another Big East school and a preseason favorite for college basketball in Villanova.

While the decision, for now, would only be for the first semester which would mean everything would be back to normal for conference play, these teams who missed these games would be a lot rustier than those who didn’t. Not only this, but the NCAA would lose millions of dollars on lost revenue from the in-season tournaments. They’d be forced to cancel the conference vs conference matchups, and the millions of fans won’t get to watch their favorite team play for months. While there’s a chance none of this happens, the Cal-State school decision being made this early puts pressure on these other schools and may impact college basketball next season.

Featured image via Bleacher Report

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