March Madness to go on without fans

Both the NCAA mens and women's tournaments have been scheduled to go on without fans due to the rapid spread of coronavirus.



March 12, 2020 - 10:15 AM

KU’s Isiah Moss drives to the basket through traffic on Feb.15 against Oklahoma Photo by Erick Mitchell / Iola Register

The NCAA basketball tournaments are on — for now — though the buzzer-beaters, upsets and all the other shining moments will take place in mostly empty arenas.

Trying to avoid spreading the new coronavirus that has become a global pandemic, the NCAA on Wednesday decided the men’s and women’s Division I tournament games will be off-limits to the general public. The major college conferences followed the NCAA’s lead, one by one announcing their league tournaments would go on the rest of the week with restricted fan access.

“I think the right answer is we considered every option available to us,” NCAA President Mark Emmert told The Associated Press. “The notion of cancellation, however, is one that is pretty draconian because we’re dealing with student-athletes for whom participating in a national championship is a life long dream.

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