Nearly every NCAA basketball conference tournament has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC and Big East all canceled their respective tournaments on Thursday. The Big East was scheduled to play on Thursday, but they canceled the tournament at halftime of the first game.
"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," a conference statement said.
The ACC is one of the strongest basketball conferences in the country and they always attract a large crowd. With the cancellation of the tournament, Florida State has been crowned the ACC Champion and will move on to the NCAA Tournament.
"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," the statement said. "For NCAA Tournament automatic qualification purposes, Florida State will represent the league as the ACC Champion. We are disappointed for our student-athletes, schools and fans to have to make this decision; however, the overall health and safety of all involved is the priority.
As for the NCAA Tournament, it's still on as scheduled and the first set of games will start on March. 17. However, the games will be played without fans and the only people who will be able to watch are media, family and essential staff.
"The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance," NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. "
The cancellation of the basketball tournaments started with the Ivy League earlier this week. The Yale men's team will play in the NCAA Tournament as well Princeton women's team since they were regular-season champions.
"We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments," Ivy League executive director Robin Harris said, per CBS Sports. "Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision."