The NCAA Tournament will go on, but it will be without fans, according NCAA president Mark Emmert.
Emmert has decided that the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments will only have players, coaches, essential personnel, and limited family due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
In addition, the NCAA Tournament will still be televised, but a decision on allowing other media to attend is still up in the air, according to Pete Thamel.
An NCAA spokesman tells @YahooSports the NCAA tournament games will still be televised, but the NCAA is "still working through (a decision on) other media."— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) March 11, 2020
Right before the announcement, the NCAA announced it was recommending that games be played without fans in attendance.
“The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans.”
So, for now, it sounds like the NCAA Tournament will go on, but without fans.
However, do not assume the tournament will still go on next week, depending on how much worse the Coronavirus outbreak gets in the coming days.
The states of Ohio and Washington had already banned fans from attending sporting events, such as NCAA Tournament games, prior to the NCAA’s announcement.