Release the bracket!
That's what I'm yelling as I sit in my apartment while the rest of the sports world has all but shut down. The NCAA is pondering releasing a 68-team bracket that would have represented the 2020 NCAA Tournament field. The organization needs to do that as soon as possible.
Yes, I know the 2020 tournament will never be played, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't get a look at what the bracket would have been before the season ended abruptly. There are a few reasons we need it.
First off, this would be a fantastic distraction. Fans and pundits would get the bracket then spend the next days and weeks imagining what would have been. We can argue over who would have won the hypothetical matchups and, ultimately, who would have taken home the title. That's the kind of distraction we need right now as coronavirus spreads through the United States and many of us are prohibited from even going to work.
There are also the players to consider. Many of them worked extremely hard to be able to say they made and played in the NCAA Tournament. While they can't actually play in it, at least they'd be able to say they earned a spot in the field. At my alma mater, Indiana, there are two seniors (Devonte Green and De'Ron Davis) who never got to play in the tournament during their careers. The Hoosiers likely earned a spot in the field this season, and it would be great for both to be able to say their hard work put them in the field. That kind of story is not unique to Indiana.
I know my final point will seem trivial about now, but it's a reality. A lot of coaches and assistants have bonus clauses in their contracts for making the NCAA Tournament. It's only fair to reward those whose teams played their way into the field.
In the end, this just feels like the right thing to do. We won't be getting any basketball-related madness in March, but at least we could dream on it if we had a field to imagine.