We’re just minute away from the start of the ACC Tournament. There have been questions about many major sporting events in the wake of coronavirus’ spread, but the ACC has confirmed that things are moving forward as planned.
Earlier today, the Ivy League became the first Division I conference to announce that it will cancel its league tournament. Yale will now head to the NCAA Tournament as the league’s regular season champion. The decision did not come without controversy, especially from those at Harvard. The Crimson finished one game behind Yale and beat the Bulldogs twice, but will not have a chance to play for a spot in March Madness.
Of course, it is hard to blame those trying to calm the spread of the deadly virus, which is incredibly contagious, according to reports. So far, the NCAA has rejected the idea of playing its tournament without fans, or cancelling it completely. The 68-team tournament is set to start a week from today with the First Four, with the First Round beginning on Thursday, March 19. The ACC Tournament is moving forward as well.
Wake Forest and Pitt are moments away from tipping things off in Greensboro, N.C. The 12 and 13 seeds play the 4:30 p.m. game on ACC Network, with No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. No. 14 UNC shortly thereafter.
The ACC released the following statement about this week's ACC Tournament going on as scheduled. pic.twitter.com/IpzDWcNvFv
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) March 10, 2020
No matter what these leagues decide, there will be consequences and some controversy. Cancelling the entire tournaments could be seen as an overreaction, and could have major economic impacts. Playing without fans would make for strange environments and is tough for those who have traveled for the games. And, of course, going forward as planned, with thousands of people in close proximity for these games, may increase the risk of the virus spreading, if there are unaware carriers attending the events.
The ACC is taking similar steps to other leagues in “altering” media availability after games as well. Reporters will not be allowed in the locker rooms, and will instead take place in the 300-person Odeon Theatre, which is attached to Greensboro Coliseum.
Hopefully all of the decision makers do whatever is best to make sure players, coaches, and fans are safe. If you are sick during this outbreak, please do not attend these games and put others at risk.