The latest victim of the COVID-19 virus is fandom at the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, as there will be no one in attendance for games.

  • NCAA has announced the men’s basketball tournaments will continue without fans in attendance due to growing concerns of coronavirus spreading.
  • The games will only have essential staff and limited family members in the stadium during the games.
  • This announcement follows the NBA’s Golden State Warriors announcing a similar precaution.

INDIANAPOLIS – NCAA president Mark Emmert announced on Wednesday that due to concerns of the coronavirus spreading, the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tournaments will be held without fans in attendance. This is a precaution amid more cases of coronavirus being spread.

This may just be the first stage in a long-form fight to avoid the spreading of the COVID-19 that has affected the world this year. Only essential personnel and limited family members will be allowed to attend these games.

In an official statement issued by the NCAA, Emmert expressed this reaction, although disappointing to many fans, is the safest approach to continuing the season.

“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel.” Emmert’s statement read. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. 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. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”

It has also been reported by Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports that cancellation of the entire NCAA Tournament is a possibility as well. These announcements come following the NBA’s Golden State Warriors who have also decided to run their upcoming game against the Brooklyn nets without fans in attendance.

As the pandemic continues to sweep the nation, this will surely affect the March Madness betting lines and viewership of the tournaments.

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