UPDATE (AP) – The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference all canceled their basketball tournaments Thursday because of concerns about coronavirus, putting the playing of the NCAA Tournament in doubt.
Within minutes of each other, the five most high-profile conferences in college sports announced that the remainder of their tournaments would not be played. All were preparing to play games in large arenas across the country, but with few people in the buildings.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that it planned to play its men’s and women’s tournament games that start next week with restricted access for the general public. The NCAA said only essential staff and limited family members would be allowed to attend the games.
Following the NCAA’s lead, most college conferences announced that their basketball tournaments would be conducted with limited fan access the rest of the week. By Thursday, after the NBA suspended its season Wednesday night, most Division I conferences decided not to play at all.
But not all of them. The Big East started its second-round game between top-seeded Creighton and St. John’s at Madison Square Garden as most of the sport was shutting down.
Also, canceling their tournaments were the American Athletic Conference in Fort Wort, Texas, and the Mid-American Conference in Cleveland at an arena scheduled to be the site of NCAA men’s tournament games next week.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Several 2020 men’s basketball tournaments have been canceled due to concerns over COVID- 19.
The remainder of the 2020 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament has been canceled.
ACC officials made the announcement in a tweet Thursday afternoon, citing ongoing concerns over COVID-19:
Following additional consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors, and in light of the continued conversations surrounding the fluidity of COVID-19, the Atlantic Coast Conference will immediately cancel the remainder of the 2020 ACC Tournament. For NCAA Tournament Automatic Qualification purposes, Florida State will represent the league as the ACC Chamption. We are disappointed for our student-atheletes, schools and fans to have to make this decision; however, the overall health and safety of all involved is the priority.ACC
The Southeastern Conference announced Thursday that the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville has been cancelled.
According to a Tweet on SEC’s Twitter page, the cancellation is due to the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus.
The Big Ten has announced Thursday the conference tournament will be canceled immediately.
“The main priority of the Big Ten Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus,” the conference said in a statement on bigten.org.