March Madness basketball games will be played without fans due to COVID-19

NCAA President Mark Emmert says NCAA Division I basketball tournament games will not be open to the general public because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

Emmert said in a statement Wednesday that he made the decision to conduct both the men’s and women’s tournaments, which begin next week, with only essential staff and limited family in attendance. The decision comes after the NCAA’s COVID-19 advisory panel of medical experts recommended against playing sporting events open to the general public.

The 68-team field for the men’s tournament is scheduled to be announced Sunday and the 64-team women’s tournament field is to be unveiled Monday. Games begin Tuesday and Wednesday on the men’s side in Dayton, Ohio, where earlier Wednesday the governor ordered to restrict spectator access to indoor sporting events.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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