March Madness Canceled Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The NCAA introduced Thursday it would cancel its March Insanity basketball tournaments over rising considerations in regards to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“This resolution relies on the evolving COVID-19 public well being menace, our means to make sure the occasions don’t contribute to unfold of the pandemic, and the impracticality of internet hosting such occasions at any time throughout this educational yr given ongoing choices by different entities,” the NCAA mentioned in an announcement Thursday.

The lads’s match was set to start on Tuesday, March 17, whereas the ladies’s match was scheduled to start out Friday, March 20.

The information comes after the NBA introduced Wednesday night it was suspending its season “till additional discover” after a participant on the Utah Jazz examined optimistic for the coronavirus.

Earlier this week, NCAA President Mark Emmert mentioned the school video games would go on as deliberate however with spectators restricted to some members of the family and staffers. 

“Whereas I perceive how disappointing that is for all followers of our sports activities, my resolution relies on the present understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the USA,” he mentioned Wednesday. “This resolution is in one of the best curiosity of public well being, together with that of coaches, directors, followers and, most significantly, our student-athletes.”

Previous to canceling, the school sports activities group additionally thought-about transferring a number of the video games to smaller arenas.

Final yr’s NCAA Males’s Division I Match noticed 19.6 million followers tuning in to the championship sport between the College of Virginia and Texas Tech, and tens of 1000’s of individuals attended the video games in particular person. Final yr’s match reportedly generated roughly $933 million in income for the NCAA from ticket gross sales, ads and media rights.

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