Coronavirus Update: NCAA Cancels March Madness, Other Winter, Spring Championships
Men’s Basketball Tournament joins several other conference events being played in empty arenas
The NCAA has made extensive changes to its athletics calendar after the recent outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S. Below is a constantly updated list of announcements from collegiate conferences and the NCAA. Stay tuned to sportsvideo.org for more information on how the spread of the coronavirus is impacting the sports-production industry.
On Thursday, the NCAA declared that all winter and spring championships, including the 2020 Division I Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments, will be canceled. Prior to this ultimate decision, schools like Kansas and Duke withdrew themselves from the NCAA Tournament. As a result of this news, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, one of the most-watched televised sports events in the country, will not be held this year.
On Wednesday, the NCAA at first announced that the upcoming March Madness would be played with only essential staff and limited family attendance as a result of widening coronavirus pandemic. NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the news based on recommendations from the conference’s COVID-19 advisory panel and discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors.
At the conference level, all Power Five conferences (Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, ACC) canceled all basketball tournaments on Thursday. Smaller conferences — such as American Athletic, Atlantic-10, Colonial Athletic Association, MAC, and WAC — also canceled their respective tournaments.
Even though every other conference has canceled events, the Big East Tournament in New York City still went on as planned. However, the competition was eventually postponed at halftime of a quarterfinal game.
Before Thursday’s news of all spring championships being canceled, the Ivy League decided to cancel all spring athletics competitions on Wednesday. Following suit, the Colonial Athletic Association, Pac-12, Patriot League, and SEC also canceled their spring sports schedules.