NCAA Conference Tournament Cancellations Mount Due to Coronavirus

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Due to the coronavirus outbreak, cancellations are rampant among the NCAA men's basketball conference tournaments.

As of this writing, the AAC, ACC, Big Ten, Conference USA, Pac-12, SEC and WAC have all canceled their tourneys. The Big East was the only major conference to continue their tournament as scheduled before eventually cancelling as well.

Later, it was announced that all NCAA spring and winter championships were canceled, including the NCAA basketball tournament.

Creighton and St. John's continued to play in their Big East quarterfinal matchup through the noon ET hour at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It seemed only a matter of time before the Big East follows suit amid the COVID-19 threat.

Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported at 12:45 p.m. ET that Providence and Butler, who were supposed to take the court after the Creighton-St. John's game, have been told to stay at their hotels. Thamel followed up saying the Big East canceled at halftime of Creighton-St. John's.

Conferences that hadn't tipped off their tournaments yet continued the widespread cancellations trend around the country. In lieu of a champion determined through the tournament, each conference's top seed will receive tournament trophies.

The NBA quickly jumped on the coronavirus threat after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Utah's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder got postponed Wednesday evening.

Soon thereafter, the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings postponed their matchup. The NBA then announced the 2019-20 season would be suspended indefinitely until further notice because of the pandemic.

News broke Thursday that Gobert's teammate, Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive for COVID-19. Thunder and Jazz players were under quarantine in Oklahoma City after the game was cancelled.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic yesterday.

College basketball is swiftly following the NBA's action in suspending all games, which puts the NCAA tournament in serious jeopardy of happening.

Although a solution was found to reward conference champions with automatic Big Dance berths, the health and safety hazards proved to be too great for the NCAA to put on the annual event.

NCAA president Mark Emmert made an announcement in the wake of the coronavirus' spread on Wednesday, stating only "essential staff and limited family" could attend conference and NCAA tournament games. Public safety and that of those participating in the games quickly became the greater priority less than 24 hours later.

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