NCAA Cancels March Madness Tournaments Amid Coronavirus Fears

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - MARCH 06: The NCAA logo is seen on the wall as Yeshiva players warmup prior to playing against Worcester Polytechnic Institute during the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship - First ... BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - MARCH 06: The NCAA logo is seen on the wall as Yeshiva players warmup prior to playing against Worcester Polytechnic Institute during the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship - First Round at Goldfarb Gymnasium on at Johns Hopkins University on March 6, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. On Thursday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland had confirmed three cases of residents with COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, prompting Johns Hopkins officials to host the NCAA men's basketball tournament without spectators. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 12, 2020 5:02 p.m.
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The NCAA announced Thursday afternoon that it is canceling the rest of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

In a statement, the NCAA said that president Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors took the public health threat that COVID-19 poses into account when deciding to cancel the remainder of its winter and spring tournaments and championships.

The statement said canceling the tournaments ensures that the NCAA is doing its part to “not contribute” to the spread of COVID-19 and that it saves the “impracticality of hosting such events.”

The move came just a day after the NCAA announced that it would hold its March Madness tournaments without fans and restrict attendance to “essential staff and limited family.” The NCAA’s Wednesday statement also said that its COVID-19 Advisory panel recognizes the virus’ “fluidity” and “its impact on hosting events in a public space.”

The NCAA is far from the only sports organization to cancel or curtail its events. The NBA and NHL have suspended their seasons, and the MLB is delaying the start of its season.

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