The NCAA announced Thursday that the NCAA Tournament has been canceled amid concern over the coronavirus.
"This decision is based on the evolving CVOID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities," read an NCAA statement.
The news follows a whirlwind 24-hour period that began with the NCAA announcing Wednesday that it would the tournament without spectators. But conferences around the country, including the AAC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and Atlantic 10 (among others) began canceling their league basketball tournaments Thursday morning amid growing concern over the coronavirus.
In some cases, such as with the Big Ten, players had already begun warming up for their games before the decisions were made Thursday. In New York City, the Big East started a quarterfinal game between St. John's and Creighton at Madison Square Garden before announcing at halftime that the rest of the league tournament would be canceled.
The wave of college basketball cancelations came as the NBA suspended play after two Utah Jazz players tested positive for coronavirus.
The NCAA Tournament was scheduled to begin Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. But two of college basketball's top programs took staunch measures on Thursday that cast the viability of holding the NCAA Tournament into question. Kansas athletic director Jeff Long announced Thursday that the KU athletic department has suspended all athletic travel "indefinitely" while Duke announced that it is suspending athletic activities altogether.
"During this unpredictable time, Duke Athletics fully supports all measures to protect the health and welfare of the Duke family and beyond," Duke athletic director Kevin White said in a statement. "While we understand this may be daunting to many, please know that this decision is entirely in the best interest of all student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans."
Kansas athletic director Jeff Long said in KU's statement that, "we will continue to monitor the situation and determine the next appropriate steps based on advice from our medical team."
- NCAA Tournament -- canceled
- Refunds will be provided: The NCAA has clarified that refunds will be provided for all fans who hold tournament tickets. Here are additional details.