NCAA to hold both basketball tournaments without fans due to coronavirus

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Various local governments have made decisions to cancel events with large crowds, but nothing on a national scale had been decided. Now the NCAA has decided to limit crowds for all upcoming championship events, including both the men’s and women’s tournaments.

The NCAA released a statement on Wednesday from NCAA president Mark Emmert.

“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel,” the 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.”

For Illinois schools in the men’s tournament, Bradley won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to clinch a spot. Illinois is also expected to get a berth.

On the women’s side, Northwestern and DePaul are highly-ranked teams that have a chance to host the first two rounds.

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