NCAA Cancels Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments Amid Coronavirus Concerns

The NCAA has made a big decision concerning its sporting events for winter and spring. League president Mark Emmert announced the cancellation of the Division I men's and women's basketball tournament. It was also announced the NCAA has canceled the remaining winter and spring NCAA championships for precautionary reasons.

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-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," NCAA's statement said.

This comes on the heels of the major conferences canceling their respective tournaments to protect the players, coaches, staff members and fans from the outbreak. Conferences such as the ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big East announced on Thursday they have called off their tournaments.

"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 from the ACC 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."

The Ivy League was the first conference to cancel its basketball tournaments and took some criticism in the process.

"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."

Originally, the NCAA was going to continue with men's and women's tournament but there would be no fans in the arena. Only family members and authorized staff would be in attendance.


"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.