What if the 2019-20 basketball season hadn’t been cut short?
The Ducks had the stars. Payton Pritchard was leading the men’s team to a Pac-12 Tournament title. Sabrina Ionescu was taking the women's team dancing in the NCAA Tournament.
And then COVID-19 hit.
I was sitting on the couch in my sorority house TV room as Mark Cuban was notified that everything was shutting down. I was a part of our journalism school’s student broadcasting organization, Duck TV, when it was reported that NCAA sports were finished.
Both Oregon teams were at the top of their game. They were ranked in the top 25. The men were on an unmatchable hot streak. The women looked seemingly undefeatable.
What if the pandemic hadn’t happened and the men’s Pac-12 Tournament had finished with a championship? What if the Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, and Satou Sabally got their chance in March Madness? What if…
The Ducks could have had it all.
It would have been the Oregon men’s first national title since the 1938-39 season, and their second ever in program history. It would have been the women’s first national title ever.