NCAA basketball tournaments to be played in empty stadiums

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Yoeli Childs dunks during Feb. 22’s game against Gonzaga. The NCAA announced that the upcoming basketball tournaments will be played without fan attendance.

The NCAA announced on Wednesday that attendance to the upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournament games would be limited to the teams’ staff and families in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement.

The decision comes after consulting with public health officials and the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel. According to the statement, these officials recommended against large gatherings like sporting events because the disease is spreading quickly throughout the United States.

“We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects the players, employees, and fans,” the statement reads.

BYU will play in the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The team looks for its first win since the Jimmer Fredette era in 2010 and 2011 when the team earned its way to the Sweet 16 before falling in overtime to Florida.

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