Wednesday afternoon, basketball fans were informed that they would not be allowed to attend the upcoming NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments. The decision was made by NCAA president Mark Emmert, who said that only essential staff and limited family members would be allowed at the games.
"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," Emmert said in a statement."
The news was expected by members of the media, but some fans were caught by surprise. They had planned on making the trip to watch their favorite teams in action while hoping for a Final Four appearance. Now, however, they would be watching the games from home.
Following the NCAA's announcement, users responded on social media with a variety of comments. Some were frustrated while others were simply in awe of the decision.
IN SHOCK about the NCAA tournament. I know we have no idea how much the Coronavirus could spread, but this will be so strange watching games with no one there. It's what makes college sports arguably better than professional sports. There will no passion or excitement 😥— Dominik R (@domination12) March 11, 2020
With the NCAA's announcement on Wednesday, several fans were left wondering about the upcoming tournament. How would the games play out? Would the lack of cheers or boos have an impact?
The answer is unknown as the tournament draws near, but there were several fans that were left saddened by the news. They love watching games and hearing the rambunctious fans.
One side effect of the NCAA's announcement is that the atmosphere will be considerably different during key moments. Specifically, the fans will not be screaming at the referees if they feel that a call is bad.
How do those in charge of penalties view this change? The answer is unknown, but there are some fans that believe the referees are actually dancing around and showing excitement.
Less than half of a percent has the virus. Over 50% of people who’ve had it has recovered from it and only 4,200 people have died from it, what an overreaction idiocy this is. No fans at #NCAA tournament hahaha so ridiculous #Coronavirus— Bobby_Brown_Eyes (@BobbyBrownEye5) March 11, 2020
Some fans were shocked by the announcement that they would not be allowed to attend the NCAA Tournament. Others were just angry about the latest development. Some fans, however, reacted with disbelief.
The coronavirus has been divisive over the past few days due to some users believing it is a serious issue while others think it's a media creation. They think this is just being blown out of proportion.
Why not have medical personnel and health/doctors/nurses at NCAAW and men's tournament with having fans arrive 3 to 4 hours early for prescreening into building ensuring they are not affected by Coronavirus. So everyone is self and clean. This is better system, Truth B Told— Bryant Payne (@PayneBryant) March 11, 2020
The NCAA is ensuring that there will be no fans in attendance for March Madness, but the fans wish this wasn't the case. In fact, there were some that offered different options for those wanting to watch the games in person.
One idea offered to the NCAA would have resulted in very long lines and extra wait time. The fan wanted everyone in attendance to be screened prior to entering the arena.
With the fans not allowed in the arenas for March Madness and Golden State Warriors games, they have begun to ask some questions. Will the lack of attendance affect the in-house plans for game day?
Major sporting events are known for having loud music and various sound effects that are supposed to fire up the fanbase. For example, the Carolina Panthers play jungle cat sounds after big plays. Will these audio cues still be used despite the lack of fans?
I would literally rather eat a Coronavirus popsicle than to have NCAA tournament games played without fans.— JD Gravina (@JDGravina) March 11, 2020
Many basketball fans have mentioned that they would prefer to have other people in attendance for the games. They don't like the sound of squeaking shoes on the court and coaches yelling. They want to hear the sounds of fans yelling.
While some viewers simply said that they would not watch the games if fans were not allowed in the building, others had far more extreme views. They made bold proclamations about what they would be willing to do instead of watching these fanless games.
If I’m filling out my brackets I pick all the favorites. Underdogs and Cinderella’s are fueled by the fans, fueled by the excitement, fueled by the student body. All which will not be present this time around... #justsayin #COVID19 #coronavirus #MarchMadness #NCAATournament— Jorge Andrés (@IBThatRaspOnTV) March 11, 2020
Many users are very concerned about the coronavirus and how it will affect everyday life. Others are just focusing on their selections for March Madness. They want to know how this will impact their brackets.
One individual revealed that the lack of fans will greatly impact their bracket. Instead of picking teams that could gain support from the audience and ride that wave to victory, they are going for teams that would be better in a silent environment.
(Photo Credit: Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)