It took every single Division I college basketball conference cancelling their own tournaments to get us here, but the NCAA has finally done it. The 2020 NCAA Tournament is being canceled.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic infecting the entire globe, large gatherings of almost every size are being cancelled to curb the spread. Earlier this week the NCAA pledged to continue plans for all tournament games to be played with no fans. But the writing was on the wall days ago when the Ivy League announced it would be cancelling its own tournament.
“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,” the NCAA announced.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) March 12, 2020
Though every game remaining game was played on Wednesday, Thursday was the breaking point. Every single Power Five conference cancelled its tournament at the same time, and the remaining D-I conferences quickly followed suit.
But the NCAA isn’t the first, and won’t be the last league to suspend all activities over the coronavirus.
Just last night, the NBA suspended all games after a Utah Jazz player was diagnosed with the virus just before the game. Earlier today, Major League Baseball suspended all operations indefinitely.
In the past week we’ve seen soccer leagues around the world suspend their seasons. Major League Soccer, the Champions League, Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga and others have all pushed off or outright cancelled their ongoing seasons.
Most other sports leagues and organizations suspend their seasons before the week is over. The Olympics and even the 2020 NFL season are likely in doubt too.
It remains to be seen what happens as far as resolving the 2019-20 college basketball season though. The NCAA would likely declare no champion for the season in the same way it did when it stripped Louisville of its 2013 title.
But for now, the absolute most important thing is for everyone to stop the spread of coronavirus. Thankfully, the infection rate in the United States has been reported low, and the mortality rate is even lower.
There will be sports in the future. Just not the immediate future.
Stay healthy and safe out there!