NCAA Cancels All Winter And Spring Sports Championships
On Wednesday, the NCAA announced it would move ahead with its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, but without spectators, because of the coronavirus. On Thursday, it went one giant step farther and cancelled the tournaments.
It means that, as college basketball begins the most anticipated part of its season, that season comes to an abrupt and disappointing end.
The NCAA released a statement Thursday saying, because of the public health threat due to COVID-19, that it became impractical to continue with its popular March Madness men’s and women’s tournaments.
In Spokane, Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few expressed his disappointment. He told ESPN that he and other coaches and players felt taking a temporary cancellation to monitor the coronavirus situation was appropriate. But they hoped the tournament could be played later in April or May.
Few’s team had qualified for the national tournament and had a strong chance to play its first and second round games at the Spokane Arena, a mile from the Gonzaga campus.
Other Inland Northwest teams were in the midst of their conference tournaments. The Eastern Washington Eagle men were to play in the Big Sky tournament in Boise this morning. Washington State was to play Arizona State tonight in the Pac-12. The Idaho Vandal women were to play for the Big Sky title tomorrow night.
Though basketball is the most high profile of the college sports this time of year, it is not the only one affected. The NCAA also cancelled the remainder of its other winter and spring sports championships, including baseball, gymnastics, wrestling and track and field.