Fears of the Coronavirus have led the NCAA to lockout fans from this year’s basketball championship March Madness tournament.
From the NCAA:
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Wednesday that the NCAA’s upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, will be played with only essential staff and limited family attendance.
“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel,” Emmert said in a statement. “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.”
“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.”
Selection Sunday is scheduled for Sunday, March 15, with the First Four in Dayton set for March 17-18. The first round of the NCAA men’s tournament is Thursday, March 19. The women’s begins on Friday, March 20.