NCAA cancels March Madness, other events, as coronavirus spreads

Mar 12, 2020, 1:39 PM | Updated: 2:13 pm

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The NCAA announced Thursday it’s canceling remaining winter and spring championship events to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The cancellations include the men’s and women’s tournament scheduled for later this month.

“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” NCAA COO Donald Remy said in a statement. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned, however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.”

According to the NCAA, it has established a COVID-19 advisory panel of leading medical, public health and epidemiology experts to guide the response to the outbreak of the virus.

“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 in the United States and will make recommendations on competition based on the evolving medical protocols established by the CDC, NIH and state and local authorities,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline said in a press release. “We are in daily contact with the CDC and are advising leadership on the Association’s response to this outbreak.”

Originally, the plan was to hold the men’s and women’s tournaments without fans in the stands.

Arizona State head basketball coach Bobby Hurley took to Twitter after the decision, saying he respects the NCAA’s plan, but the brackets for the tournaments should still be announced.

The cancellations come following numerous conferences’ decision to cancel the remainder of their championships.

The Ivy League was the first domino to fall, announcing cancellations of its basketball tournaments on Tuesday before canceling all athletic events through the remainder of spring.

Arizona State, among other schools, followed suit on Thursday, with the Sun Devils canceling all sport competitions “effective immediately” and “until further notice.”

In addition to the NCAA, MLB has decided to cancel its spring training games, while the NHL and NBA have suspended play.

Arizona State Basketball

Alston Mason #3 of the Oklahoma Sooners takes a shot as Tyrese Hunter #11 of the Iowa State Cyclone...

David Veenstra

Missouri State’s leading scorer Alston Mason commits to Arizona State

Missouri State leading scorer Alston Mason committed to play for the Arizona State on Friday. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

1 day ago

Jerrance Howard...

Arizona Sports

Arizona State basketball reportedly hires Jerrance Howard to Bobby Hurley’s coaching staff

Arizona State basketball has reportedly hired former Kansas and Texas assistant coach Jerrance Howard to join Bobby Hurley's staff.

4 days ago

Frankie Collins spearheaded ASU's defense with six first half steals in a win against USC on Jan. 2...

David Veenstra

Former Arizona State basketball guard Frankie Collins reportedly commits to TCU

Former Arizona State guard Frankie Collins has committed to TCU. Collins has one year of eligibility remaining.

8 days ago

Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley and assistant Jermaine Kimbrough...

Arizona Sports

Grand Canyon hires Bobby Hurley’s top Arizona State assistant, Jermaine Kimbrough

Arizona State assistant coach Jermaine Kimbrough has departed Bobby Hurley's staff and joined nearby Grand Canyon head coach Bryce Drew.

9 days ago

Bobby Hurley claps during a game...

Arizona Sports

Former Ball State leader Basheer Jihad commits to ASU, Bryant Selebangue in portal

Former Ball State Cardinals forward Basheer Jihad has committed to the Arizona State Sun Devils men's basketball program.

10 days ago

South Carolina celebrates winning an NCAA Championship...

Associated Press

NCAA women’s title between South Carolina, Iowa was most-watched hoops game in 5 years

South Carolina's victory over Iowa in the women's NCAA championship game had a preliminary audience average of 18.7 million on ABC and ESPN.

12 days ago

NCAA cancels March Madness, other events, as coronavirus spreads