Kansas City, MO. – The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) early Wednesday to be now considered a global pandemic. Over the last several weeks, sporting events across the world have seen a change with soccer games in Italy being played in empty stadiums and without fans.
Just hours before the Big 12 Tournament is set to tip off, the NCAA made an announcement on the status of fans attending March Madness:
According to CBS Sports, an update from the Big 12 conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has yet to make a decision on the status of fans attending the Big 12 conference tournament. At the time this article is posted, the opening games of the men’s tournament will tip off in less than two hours. With that that short amount of time for notice, fans will be allowed to attend the first two games of the tournament.
A decision is still being made on Thursday’s four games, Friday’s two games and Saturday’s conference championship title game. The conference is working closely with the University of Kansas Health System, combined with state and local administration, in order to make the best possible decision.
For college basketball fans, the chance to travel to March Madness is simply not in the cards for 2020. With fans not being allowed in attendance, there are many questions that will be answered in the coming weeks; is there music to be played, crowd noise to be pumped in?
While West Virginia fans await the next decision on the conference tournament, it’s worth noting that the Mountaineers are currently undefeated on neutral courts (a silver lining perhaps?) and taking the fans and crowds out of the tournament brings the games to a much more even playing field.