UPDATE: It was only a matter of time, but on Thursday afternoon the NCAA announced that the remaining winter and spring championships, including the men’s and women’s basketball tournament. This is a devastating decision not only for the athletes and fans, but for the workers who rely on these events to pay their bills and feed themselves and their families.
Additionally, the Big Ten has issued a statement in which they cancel all remaining competitions for the remainder of the academic year.
The Big Ten Conference announced today that in addition to the Men’s Basketball Tournament it will be canceling all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year, and participation in all NCAA tournaments and competitions. In addition, the Conference has announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future.
The Big Ten Conference announced today that it will be canceling the remainder of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, effective immediately.https://t.co/MeQMNScXKQ— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) March 12, 2020
If anyone has been paying attention to the news over the last 24 hours, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Big Ten Conference announced earlier today that they would be cancelling the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made by the Big Ten conference about 15 minutes before Michigan and Rutgers were scheduled to tip-off in the first of Thursday’s four second round games. Ohio State was scheduled to take on Purdue tonight in the third of four games scheduled for today’s Big Ten Tournament action.
The 2020 Big Ten Tournament began yesterday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis with fans in attendance. Minnesota topped Northwestern 74-57 in the first game of the tournament, but during the game the conference announced that starting Thursday the tournament would go on without fans in attendance.
Indiana and Nebraska played in the second game of the evening, with the Hoosiers beating the Cornhuskers 89-64. Much of the focus was taken away from the game though, as it was reported that Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg was coaching despite feeling sick. Hoiberg looked ill as he tried to coach his team, and eventually left the bench area with around four minutes to go in the game. The first-year Nebraska coach was taken to an Indianapolis hospital where he was diagnosed with influenza A.
The Big Ten joined the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, and a number of other conferences in their decision to cancel their conference tournaments. As of now the NCAA Tournament is still scheduled to proceed without fans in attendance, but with how quickly both professional and collegiate leagues are deciding to suspend operations, it seems highly unlikely that the NCAA Tournament will begin next week, as planned.
With the cancellation of so many conference tournaments around the country, if the NCAA Tournament is able to be held this year, the automatic NCAA Tournament bids given to conference tournament champions, will now likely go to the regular season champions of conferences who weren’t able to complete their conference tournaments.
Stay tuned to Land-Grant Holy Land as we will keep you updated when any new information is given about the plans for this year’s NCAA Tournament, as well any updates on precautions that Ohio State is taking to help keep student-athletes and fans safe from the spread of the COVID-19 virus.