By Matt Noonan
Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the NCAA has decided to cancel both its winter and spring championships for all three divisions, including March Madness, which was supposed to occur next week without fans in the stands.
The announcement of the cancelations was made this afternoon through a statement, which was seen both on the NCAA website and social media. The statement from the NCAA was the following:
Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.
Shortly after the cancelations were announced, D3Hoops.com confirmed both D-III tournaments were canceled, including contests that were scheduled to take place this weekend at Amherst College, Bowdoin College, and Tufts University.
As noted in the report on D3Hoops.com this afternoon, the Tufts men’s basketball team learned of the news on a bus ride to Brockport, New York. The Jumbos were scheduled to tip-off on Saturday, March 14th against the College of Brockport in the third round of the NCAA D-III Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Prior to the NCAA announcement, multiple professional leagues began suspending its current season, including Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL). Additionally, both Major League Baseball (MLB) and Minor League Baseball (MLB) announced they would be delaying the start of their respective seasons for two weeks.
Finally, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) announced they were canceling both its basketball and hockey championships this weekend.