10 Things the Coronavirus Took Away From the Sports World This Year, So Far

It seems like months since the sports world shut down in America because of the coronavirus, but it's only been two weeks. Just like the flip of a switch, sports disappeared from the American landscape this spring, starting with the cancellation of March Madness.

For those who ditched your sports calendars until further notice because of coronavirus, the Sweet 16 was scheduled to begin Thursday night, and Major League Baseball's Opening Day was set for Thursday as well.

However, everything is either on pause or deleted altogether in the sports world.

One by one, and day by day, major sports began shutting down or indefinitely postponing. It started when the NBA suspended its season after one player tested positive for COVID-19, better known as coronavirus. Then Major League Baseball canceled the remainder of its spring training and delayed Opening Day by at least two weeks—that will inevitably be extended further.

The National Hockey League suspended its season, the Boston Marathon and Masters Golf Tournament announced postponements, the NFL Draft will be held without an audience, the French Open and Kentucky Derby were both postponed, the WWE will hold WrestleMania in a pre-taped capacity and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been pushed to 2021.

To top it off, the NCAA canceled all of its winter and spring championships for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, which included canceling the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments (aka March Madness) altogether.

This is typically a rather busy time of year in sports. But in spring of 2020, it's all about reruns on TV and talk about what could have been, had things been normal. Here are 10 things to ponder of what could have potentially happened if coronavirus had not shut down sports.

Dayton Basketball Fans
Dayton Flyers fans are seen during a game against the George Washington Colonials at UD Arena on March 7, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

A mid-major team could have won the NCAA men's basketball tournament
The 2019-20 men's basketball team was strange from the start, where five different No. 1 teams lost in a seven-week period. And though Baylor took the top spot for several weeks, it was the mid-major conference teams that took over the top 5 this season. Gonzaga was a favorite at the No. 1 and 2 spot for many weeks, San Diego State was the last undefeated before they finally lost, and Dayton became the favorite to win the tournament after 10,000 simulated models by CBS. Then again, the blue-blood programs of Kansas, Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State looked solid enough to make title runs.

Tiger Woods going for back-to-back Masters titles
Woods went on a remarkable run in 2019 to capture the Masters championship in dramatic fashion, overcoming a two-stroke deficit after 54 holes and winning by one stroke on Sunday. It was the fifth Masters win for Woods, and his 15th major. Even though the Masters has been tentatively been postponed until later this year, the Masters in the spring is special, and Woods is in position for another repeat at Augusta National.

NBA MVP Race
The MVP race in the NBA seemed to be down to just two players—Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. The two All-Star Game captains were virtually No. 1 and 2 in various polls, with James Harden of the Houston Rockets mostly third. The NBA is on a suspended season until further notice, and there's no telling if the season will ever conclude in 2020. The league could still name an MVP, and it might just be too bad the winner likely won't be decided on the court.

How Many Astros Would Get Beaned
The Houston Astros early this year were reprimanded for a sign-stealing cheating scandal from the 2017 season, in which they eventually won the only World Series title in the franchise's history. New skipper Dusty Baker acknowledged that the batters in his lineup could be the subject of intentional hit-by-pitches this season. It's a stat that many fans and media would have perhaps added this season. It may still happen, but COVID-19 has baseball on hold until further notice.

Opening of Globe Life Field
The Texas Rangers just built a snazzy new stadium with a retractable roof, which will help give players and fans relief during hot Texas days and nights during the summer. The new stadium has already canceled concerts that were set to open the stadium. Now, the stadium will have to wait even longer to open.

Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs sits mostly empty following the announcement that the 146th Kentucky Derby will be postponed until September 5th due to the Coronavirus on March 17, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. Because of the concern of (COVID-19) It is the first time since 1945 that the Kentucky Derby has not been held on the first Saturday in May. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Kentucky Derby
The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, originally set for May 2, has been rescheduled for September 5. The race called "the greatest two minutes in sports" is the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. The second leg—The Preakness Stakes—is still scheduled for May 16 in Baltimore, Maryland, and for now will become the first leg of the Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes is the other Triple Crown race. The last horse to win all three races for the Triple Crown was Justify in 2018.

NFL Draft Frenzy in Las Vegas
The coronavirus could be on the downswing by the time the NFL holds its annual draft beginning April 24, but the league has already announced it will not hold it live in public. This year was slated for Las Vegas, which gets an NFL team this season with the Raiders moving to town. It might be hard to top the public showing of fans in Nashville during last year's draft, but it's hard to imagine that Vegas wouldn't have made a good run at it.

College Spring Football Games
Spring time is a good chance for college football programs to show off during the offseason, and spring football games are fun for the fans. It's also a good time to get an early glimpse of teams with fall camps beginning in August. Clemson will likely be the top team going into the 2020 season, but teams like Alabama, LSU and Oregon could have used spring ball to evaluate new quarterbacks, and teams could also see how they might look under new coaches. Plus, teams miss out on 15-18 practices, making fall camps even more important.

Vanderbilt University Baseball
Players and coaches of the Vanderbilt Commodores celebrate after defeating the Michigan Wolverines to win the National Championship at the College World Series on June 26, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

College World Series
The College World Series is special in that it takes place at the same midwestern ballpark every summer in Omaha, Nebraska. Any of the eight teams that make it there can win it. As the NCAA canceled sports through the end of the academic year, it's a tradition that will be missed this year.

2020 Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee and Japan's prime minister announced this week that the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will be postponed by at least one year. The Olympics are a chance for all major international sports to compete on one stage, in one country at one time. Archers and gymnasts march in opening ceremonies with swimmers, basketball players and track stars. They all wear the colors of their country, and it's two weeks of watching international athletes compete together in good sportsmanship.

10 Things the Coronavirus Took Away From the Sports World This Year, So Far | Sports