National basketball tournaments to be played without fans NCAA announces Wednesday

National basketball tournaments to be played without fans NCAA announces Wednesday

National basketball tournaments to be played without fans NCAA announces Wednesday

The NBA became the first major American sports league to suspend play because of the coronavirus pandemic, raising questions Wednesday night about the future of college basketball's March Madness and other pro sports.

The NCAA has announced that they are limiting fans that will be allowed to attend NCAA tournament games this year due to the spread of the Coronavirus.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement Wednesday that he made the decision alongside the NCAA Board of Governors in order to protect the health of the public, as well as that of coaches and student-athletes.

Emmert said the NCAA wants to move the men's Final Four on April 4 and 6 from Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium to a smaller arena in the area.

Upcoming NHL games scheduled for Columbus, Ohio, and San Jose, California, and college basketball tournaments for the Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Atlantic 10 and American Athletic conferences will be played without fans. UCLA will not be sending its marching band, however, and media access to locker rooms has been revoked.

The NCAA basketball tournaments are on - for now - though the buzzer-beaters, upsets and all the other shining moments will take place in mostly empty arenas.

The 68-team field for the men's basketball tournament is scheduled to be announced Sunday and the 64-team women's tournament field is to be unveiled Monday.

There are eight first- and second-round sites for the men's tournament, scheduled to be played March 19-22.

The economic setback will be felt by first- and second-round host cities Cleveland, St. Louis, Tampa, Greensboro, North Carolina; Spokane, Washington; Sacramento, California; Omaha, Nebraska and Albany, New York.

The four regional sites for the second weekend of the tournament are Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Houston and NY. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. OH is set to host both the First Four round in Dayton as well as first and second round games in Cleveland.

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