In a move that seemed inevitable given the widespread shutdown of sports across the country, the NCAA announced Thursday that it would cancel the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments over concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.
All other remaining winter and spring NCAA championships were also canceled.
The news came hours after every major conference basketball tournament was canceled, one after the other. It’s an unprecedented development in the history of a men’s tournament that has crowned a champion in every year, even during the United States’ involvement in World War II, going back to Oregon winning the first title in 1939.
“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,” the NCAA said in a statement.
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