NCAA bans fans from ‘March Madness’ arenas

While the NCAA announced on Wednesday that both the men's and women's tournaments would be played with no fans, it officially made a decision to cancel March Madness on Thursday.

Along with the remainder of the men's tournament, the Pac-12 conference also has canceled all conference activities, including the upcoming gymnastics championship which was scheduled for March 21 at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.

"The decision to temporarily suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an appropriate course of action at this time", the players' association said.

"I'm gonna say this, and I'm probably gonna get in trouble because I work for Turner and March Madness and CBS", Barkley said.

The NBA in a tweet chose to suspend its remaining month of games after learning that a player had tested positive for coronavirus. The test result came shortly before the Jazz were to play the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the game was scrapped.

Also affected were men's and women's hockey tournaments.

The Big Sky announced Thursday night that all spring sports will be suspended until further notice.

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All over the country, from Boise, Idaho, to Birmingham, Alabama, one of the busiest college basketball days of the year - with teams fighting for championship trophies and automatic bids to the NCAA men's and women's tournaments - was being shut down. This is the first time IU has won 20 games since the 2015-16 season, the last time it went to the NCAA Tournament.

The Big Sky and CenturyLink Arena will announce a refund policy soon and will contact fans who purchased tickets for the games that have been cancelled. The women's tournament had been played every year since 1982.

More than 1,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the United States, with 32 deaths; those rates are expected to continue to rise.

At the Big Ten tourney in Indianapolis, attendance starting Thursday will be limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media and immediate family members of the participating teams.

With the recently heightened concerns over COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, many sports organizations such as the NBA, Pac-12 Conference and NCAA have canceled or suspended play indefinitely.

"There's something more important than the games going on".

Thursday's games are the first to feature the top seeds in No. 4 Florida State, No. 10 Duke, No. 15 Louisville and No. 17 Virginia.

  • Lawrence Cooper