As many predicted over the last 24 hours, the NCAA has announced that it will be cancelling the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments for 2020 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to that, they are also cancelling “all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.”
The full tweet is below:
NCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships: https://t.co/qzKAS4McEI pic.twitter.com/G6XreZx35E— NCAA (@NCAA) March 12, 2020
This decisive action comes as the latest (and likely last) in a series of developments surrounding college sports, and college basketball in particular, over the last day or so.
Yesterday afternoon, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that the NCAA Tournaments would go on as planned, without fans present, only “essential staff and limited family attendance.” See below for that statement:
NCAA President Mark Emmert statement on limiting attendance at NCAA events: https://t.co/TIHHJjdse5 pic.twitter.com/8I1HdceDfN— NCAA (@NCAA) March 11, 2020
However, yesterday evening the NBA suspended its season in immediate response to the complications regarding the game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder. As of the writing of this piece, stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have tested positive for the virus.
As reported and discussed by THB yesterday, the ACC cancelled the remainder of the games in Greensboro, and named the regular season champions Florida State Seminoles ACC Champs. Shortly thereafter, Duke University suspended all athletic activities on campus and Kansas University, which currently has the #1-ranked men’s basketball team in the country, followed suit. The dominoes were quick to fall after that, and the NCAA released its decision at around 4:15 pm ET.
There are “well if we can’t go, then no one can!” jokes that could be made, but suffice to say that this is all massively crappy. The NCAA did what it should have, and no one deserves what is happening. In particular, this sucks for the seniors who were looking forward to their last shot at the Big Dance. Players like Markus Howard, Cassius Winston, Payton Pritchard, and Myles Powell, who put in years at their respective schools and had a chance to become heroes of March in their final hurrah won’t get that chance after all, so spare a thought for them.
Above all, stay safe, stay healthy, and be careful.