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NCAA basketball tournaments to continue without fans due to coronavirus concerns



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The IU women’s basketball starting lineup sits and watches its pregame video Feb. 16 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The NCAA made the decision Wednesday to play the men's and women's basketball tournaments without fans. Claire Livingston

With the coronavirus outbreak continuing to spread, the NCAA announced Wednesday the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament will take place without fans . Only essential staff and limited family members will be allowed to attend. 

“While I understand how disappointing this is for fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “This decision is in the best interest of public health.” 

As of now, the games will still take place and be televised, though the statement noted that the situation is still developing. It is unclear now whether the media will be able to attend. 

This decision comes after multiple conferences, including the Ivy League, elected to have their conference tournaments without fans. The Big Ten is having its tournament as scheduled for now, though it limited locker room access to media. 

IU announced it would restrict school-funded domestic travel, which calls into question the ability for both the men’s and women’s teams to travel to potential tournament games. The school already announced that the water polo and men’s golf teams will not travel to previously scheduled events later in March. 

This story will be updated.

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