Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus, the NCAA has announced both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be played without fans.
“While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement. “This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”
In line with that, major conferences have made similar decisions to continue with their games but without fans as well.
The Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, SEC, AAC and Southland basketball tournaments will proceed without fans beginning with Thursday’s games, following the lead of the NCAA tournament in barring anybody but family and essential personnel.
In addition, the NBA has suspended their season until further notice, partly due to Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus.
The NBA has suspended its season.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 12, 2020
As the story continues to develop, it is possible that the NCAA tournament will be fully canceled. As it stands, seeing the teams play in front of empty seats will be an odd experience. Fully acknowledging that it’s all for the best if it helps the risk of further spread, but it will be interesting to see if this nuance has any impacts to the players during the games.
(I was going to post a picture of Corona beer, but that would be in bad taste. Because it tastes bad.)