NCAA March Madness Games Will Be Played Without Fans Present
It's college basketball's biggest month, but with the spreading COVID-19 virus, the NCAA just made the decision to play the Division-I men's and women's basketball tournaments without the usual roaring crowds of fans.
In a Thursday statement, NCAA President Mark Emmert said:
The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. 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.
Conference championship tournaments are currently underway throughout the country, including the MAAC Tournament, which features Monmouth University and started at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this week
You can click here for the full statement from the NCAA.