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NCAA Tournament to be played without fans due to COVID-19

The NCAA announced the news Wednesday.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Albany Regional-UCLA vs Connecticut Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournaments will be played in empty arenas due to the continued threat of COVID-19, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

NCAA President Mark Emmert released the following statement.

“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.”

Safety and health is rightfully the top priority in this situation, so the NCAA deserves credit for making this tough decision in a swift and appropriate manner.

The games will still be televised.