In a normal year, at this point in the holiday season, I’m typically trying to cram as many Christmas movies in as possible due to the lack of nights I’m home because of all the time I’m in high school gyms.
But, as well all know, this is the most atypical year, and holiday season, we’ve ever seen.
There’s been so many basketball games postponed or canceled that the annual Wabash Valley Classic tournament has somewhat snuck up on me.
I always have the four days – or five this year with one of them falling on a Sunday – following Christmas penciled in for the 28-game sprint of high school hoops.
I also normally have an idea of what to expect upon arriving at either Terre Haute North or Terre Haute South.
Not this time.
What will it be like to have a crowd of very few spectators instead of the normal jam-packed stands?
What will it be like to have half of the bracket being played at North and the other half being played at South?
What will it be like not getting the chance to sit next to my fellow media members and discuss what’s taking place on the court due to social distancing rules?
Your guess is as a good as mine.
However, the biggest questions have nothing to do with the surroundings or who will or won’t be in attendance.
This year, I’m wondering the following:
Who are the favorites to reach Day 4?
Who are the teams that could surprise someone with a big upset?
How will the handful of teams that are coming off of quarantine be affected by the long layoffs?
Other than Riverton Parke and Shakamak pulling out of the tournament, how else will COVID wreak havoc on the Classic?
There are so many teams that have played just a couple of games, including Northview which only has one under its belt, that the whole thing is up in the air.
And while this, in true 2020 fashion, is completely different than anything before its time, it’s still the Wabash Valley Classic.
There will still – hopefully – be 24 games (with South Vermillion and West Vigo now getting first-round byes) played over four days and a champion crowned around 9:30 or 10 p.m. on Dec. 30.
So, while it certainly won’t be the same, I’m thankful there won’t be a year in between the 20th and 21st Classics and that the student-athletes get the opportunity to lace up their sneakers and take part in the best holiday tournament the state has to offer.