By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Anadolu Efes forward Chris Singleton proposed to EuroLeague Basketball that under these unique circumstances that the competition goes through due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization can consider the implementation of NCAA’s March Madness structure to replace the remainder of the regular season and the best-of-five playoff series.
That means only single-elimination knout-out games and no playoffs.
EuroLeague suspended all action until further notice on March 12.
Singleton, a former NBA player, and a five-year EuroLeague veteran posted a series of tweets analyzing his proposal, which includes participation from all 18 teams.
To @EuroLeague and the owners that form it:
I know you guys have been trying to follow the @NBA model of business but what about for this year and this year only, we use the Ncaa March madness as our 1-time Model!
— Sing (@C_SING31) March 21, 2020
Of due to safety reasons, Istanbul or Madrid can be used, then “a city in their country, that is the safest for teams and production personnel”, will be the first two hosts.
The 18 EuroLeague teams will be divided into two groups of eight teams. The two teams with the worst record will have to get their spot in the groups after a single-elimination game against the two teams with the third-worst and the fourth-worst record in the League.
The two teams left standing in each group after two rounds of single-elimination games in just one week of action, will qualify for the Final Four, which will be held in the next weekend.
As Singleton admits all those games will probably have to be played without fans due to health concerns. However, they will be televised by the EuroLeague right holders and – as Efes forward explained – also streamed by the media outlet the owners and the league chose.
And if all goes according to the plan, then Singleton expects everything to happen in just two weeks in late May.
While resuming play even in late May still seems like wishful thinking, the format proposed by Singleton closes the season so fast that it might be considered as a viable solution to the issue.