NEW YORK (CBS SF) — NCAA officials announced Thursday afternoon that the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments were cancelled due to the coronavirus, along with all remaining winter and spring NCAA sports championships.
The announcement was issued shortly after 1 p.m. on the official NCAA website and was attributed to NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors.
“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” the statement read.
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 12, 2020
The move came after most major American sports leagues including the NBA, NHL and MLS had announced a suspension of games. MLB also suspended spring training and pushed back the start of the 2020 season.
On Wednesday, NCAA official had announced that the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments would be held without fans in attendance, with only essential staff, players and coaches and family member allowed to attend the March Madness games over concerns about the coronavirus spread.
Besides the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, the cancellation will also apply to all national collegiate sports championships including bowling, fencing, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming and diving, indoor and outdoor track and field, wrestling, baseball, golf, lacrosse, rowing, tennis, softball, waterpolo and vollyball.