Hours after the NBA was forced to suspend their season after Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, the NCAA decided to make the decision to cancel March Madness.
They essentially had no choice after Duke and Kansas basically took themselves out of the tournament by canceling all athletics.
It was just earlier this week when the NCAA made the decision to ban fans from attending its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments due to the coronavirus pandemic, but after watching what happened in the NBA, they had no choice but to make this decision.
“The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”
Coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic this week, afflicting more than 100,000 people worldwide in over 80 countries, and that includes more than 1,000 in the United States.
The AAC tournament and Big Ten tournament had already announced they were being cancelled.
The SEC tournament also followed suit:
On Thursday morning, we found that Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the coronavirus, even more shocking is that everybody else’s test came out negative.