AUSTIN (KXAN) — The NCAA is canceling the remaining 2020 seasons for winter and spring sports, including the NCAA Tournament, according to a statement from NCAA Director Mark Emmert.
The decision is based on the “evolving threat” of COVID-19 in the United States.
The cancellation means the NCAA basketball tournaments will not be played, nor will the baseball and softball College World Series.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, the Duke University and University of Kansas athletics departments opted to suspend all athletic competition for the foreseeable future in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Arizona State and Virginia quickly followed suit.
Kansas is the consensus No. 1 team in the polls. Duke was projected to be anywhere from a No. 2 to a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Those programs’ decisions created a domino effect
In a statement, Duke Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski said “we emphatically support the decision.”
Kansas head coach Bill Self said in a statement — “while we are disappointed for the players, it was the right and necessary thing to do. As I said yesterday (Wednesday), this is bigger than a sport or championship.”
The NCAA announced Wednesday that it expected to play the men’s and women’s tournament next week, but would do so with only family and essential staff in the stands.
On Wednesday evening, the sports world’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic changed when the NBA suspended its season following a positive coronavirus test for Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert. Most of the other major U.S. sports leagues suspended or adjusted their schedules on Thursday.