The coronavirus outbreak put a stop to sports across the world. From professional to youth, sports had to come to a halt. During the most exciting time in college basketball, the coronavirus put an end to everything.
For some college athletes, it was their last time trying to compete for an NCAA title. The brackets that so many people fill out during this time of the year are only an imaginary thought. Every year in college basketball, there is one team that has a run in the tournament, whether it’s a short or long one. This year, that’s not the case, but here’s a look at a team that could have made a run in the tournament and could have had the chance to win their first tournament game in school history.
A look at the University of North Texas basketball team
North Texas is a member of the Conference USA. The team won the regular-season title and was the No. 1 seed going into the conference tournament. The day after the tournament started, the league announced its cancellation, and the hopes of making the tournament went out the window.
The team finished the regular season with a 20-11 overall record and a 14-4 record in the conference. The Mean Green finished first in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 63.3 points per game. They also led in field goal percentage shooting 48 percent from the field this season.
The Mean Green struggled at the beginning of the season but picked up the slack midway through. They went on an eight-game winning streak in conference play and won 14 of their last 17 games to end the season. This was the first time that North Texas won a regular-season title as a member of Conference USA.
The last time North Texas made it to the NCAA Tournament was in 2010, losing to Kansas State in the first round. If they had made it to the big dance, it would have been the fourth time in school history.
NCAA Tournament dreams crushed
Though the Mean Green would have had to win their conference tournament to have an at-large bid, they were going into the tournament with a lot of momentum. As the No.1 seed in the conference tournament, they were set to play the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic.
North Texas only needed three wins to crown themselves Conference USA champions and punch their ticket to go dancing in the tournament. Now, North Texas can only look back at a season where their success only got them a regular-season title.
A possible cinderella team
Numerous media sites across the country had North Texas making a run in the tournament. The Washington Post had the Mean Green as a No.13 seed and upsetting Kentucky in the first round and then defeating a No.5 seeded Auburn team. The Washington Post had North Texas losing to Dayton in the Sweet 16.
NBC Sports was another outlet that had North Texas winning a game. NBC had North Texas beating Wisconsin in a close game 77-76 before losing to Cincinnati in the second round. Just looking at these two predictions, people across the country saw the potential that North Texas had, and that team could have done something special.