The Big Ten Conference announced Thursday that it would be cancelling the remainder of the men’s basketball tournament due to the concerns around the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a statement released by the conference.
“The main priority of the Big Ten Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus,” the statement read.
Ohio State was set to tip off Thursday as the No. 7 seed against No. 10 Purdue at 6:30 p.m. The games were taking place in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Two games took place for the tournament on Wednesday, with Minnesota defeating Northwestern and Indiana taking down Nebraska. In the latter of the two games, Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg was visibly ill, and was eventually diagnosed with influenza.
“The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.
Ohio State has already taken measures elsewhere, cancelling the football team’s spring game and removing attendance for all spring sports. The university has also cancelled all in-person classes through March 30.
At the time of publication, the NCAA Tournament is yet to be cancelled, but would go on without public attendance.
For four free issues of the weekly print edition of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, no card required, sign up at the link here: http://www.buckeyesports.com/subscribe-4issue-trial/