• February 4, 2023

For a Preview of What the N.C.A.A. Hopes to Pull Off, Look to Las Vegas

Since then, the five conferences have met for 60 to 90 minutes almost every Friday to plan what feels like a new event. “We are rewriting all of our manuals,” said John Sullivan, the assistant commissioner from the Mountainside West.

The questions seemed endless.

How many viewers are local health officials allowed to see at each venue? When are coronavirus tests done? (The winner of the game in San Jose State and Wyoming on Wednesday night will have to return to the arena at 5:45 a.m. local time Thursday for testing ahead of that day’s quarterfinals, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.) Like many press members and the NBA Scouts will participate and where will they sit? How do the teams get into the arena? (The Pac-12 Women, Big West, and WAC teams leave hotels and parking lots to the side arena entrances to avoid going through casinos they are in.)

Where do conferences find people to mop the floor? (Stanford soccer coach David Shaw was drafted at a Cardinal home game.) Where will the teams train? (The WAC found two dishes at a local convention center.) And if a conference winner has to drop out of the NCAA tournament, who will replace it?

“The first thing an administrator will ask when you tell them something is, ‘What are everyone else doing?’” Said Loghry, the WAC official. “At first we made ideas for each other, but then we got caught in the weeds and pretty soon it was sports information directors, marketing, entire employees were involved. Someone would say, “What are you doing with X?” and you’d be like, ‘oh god, I haven’t thought about it’ and it would lead to our to-do list for next week. ‘

In one of those spit ball sessions, someone asked if the basketballs were cleaned by dipping them in a disinfectant solution. Since the composition of a basketball naturally absorbs moisture and makes it slightly sticky as the game progresses, dipping the balls would have made them soaked and unusable.

They learned that the solution was to wipe the balls with a dry towel, then again with a towel dampened with a soapy solution (never alcohol!), And then clean them with another dry towel.

Who knew

That could be said of many of the pandemic playbook details that will be put to the test next month as college basketball winners and losers are determined not only by the scoreboard but also by coronavirus testing.

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