NCAA cancels men's and women's basketball championships due to coronavirus concerns
NCAA SVP Dan Gavitt: No DI men’s and women’s basketball brackets will be released this year
On Sunday, NCAA SVP of Basketball Dan Gavitt confirmed that there would not be any bracket releases for the Division I men's or women's basketball tournaments this year. This follows last Thursday's decision to cancel all remaining NCAA winter and spring championships due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Below is Gavitt's full statement:
"The world is experiencing a challenging health crisis with the coronavirus pandemic. It is an unsettling and concerning time in our history. For those of us who love and treasure college basketball, it has resulted in the cancellation of NCAA basketball championships and an empty month that otherwise would be filled with tremendous excitement. The disappointment and heartbreak we all feel for student-athletes unable to compete is significant, yet nothing is ever more important than the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and fans.
When NCAA winter and spring championships were cancelled Thursday afternoon, the women’s basketball committee had yet to even commence their selection meeting, and the men’s basketball committee had only just begun their selection process. There were 19 men’s and 18 women’s conference tournaments that had yet to be completed when the NCAA championships were cancelled. A total of 132 men’s games and 81 women’s games were never played, resulting in those automatic qualifiers not being determined on the court.
The important work of the basketball committees is to set up competitively-balanced brackets to determine national champions. I don’t believe it’s responsible or fair to do that with incomplete seasons – especially for tournaments that unfortunately won’t be played. Therefore there will not be any NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball championship selection shows or tournament brackets released this year.
I have heard from many coaches and athletics directors who are trusted colleagues and friends that would like to see brackets released to recognize the successful seasons of their teams and student-athletes and to see who and where they would have played. Players and coaches want to see their school name on the bracket. Members of the media want to dissect matchups. Bracketologists want to compare the work of the committees versus what they’ve predicted. Fans are curious for those same reasons. All of us want something to fill the void we’re feeling.
However, anything less than a credible process is inconsistent with the tradition of the NCAA basketball championships. Brackets based on hypotheticals can’t substitute for a complete selection, seeding and bracketing process. There will always be an asterisk next to the 2020 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships regardless if brackets are released. There is not an authentic way to produce tournament fields and brackets at this point without speculating and that isn’t fair to the teams that would be positively or negatively impacted by manufacturing March Madness.
More importantly, in light of this global health crisis, I believe we need to keep college basketball in perspective.
To be clear, this is my decision. The basketball committees support and concur.
Basketball family, please stay safe and I pray for the health of you and your loved ones. We will get through this pandemic and disappointing month of March together."
NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball
NCAA VP Dan Gavitt details the decision-making process that led to the cancelation of the 2020 NCAA tournament
NCAA vice president of men's basketball Dan Gavitt joined NCAA.com correspondent Andy Katz to discuss the cancelation of this year's NCAA tournament.
“We all feel that sadness and empathize with the players... We’re heartbroken — the committee is heartbroken," Gavitt said.
- Exclusive interview: Watch Dan Gavitt join Andy Katz via Skype to break down the unprecedented decision to ultimately cancel the tournament.
- March Madness 365 podcast (March 14): Listen as Gavitt outlines the tumultuous week's timeline of events.
NCAA ticket information for canceled winter and spring events
The NCAA announced March 12 that the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, were canceled because of the evolving COVID-19 public health threat.
Here is more information on ticket refunds.
If you ordered your tickets from an official NCAA Championship vendor online or over the phone, you will be refunded. No additional action is needed.
- If you have ordered your tickets from an official NCAA Championship vendor you will receive additional information via email.
- Your refund will be automatically delivered (except applicable fees) to the same card used for purchase.
- Refunds should be received within 30 business days after the date of cancellation.
Updated ticket information for NCAA Championship events closed to public.
Updated ticket information for NCAA Championship events closed to public.— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 11, 2020
MORE INFO: 👉 https://t.co/xnEJtstiWl pic.twitter.com/X9uz8h7JqA
Customers with questions about the refund process may contact the respective event venue(s) or send inquires to the NCAA via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please understand that we will be receiving a large volume of calls and emails regarding this decision, and we ask that you allow us five business days to respond to your specific questions.
NCAA cancels men's and women's basketball championships
- The NCAA released the following statement on Thursday afternoon: Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.
Men's and women's basketball conference tournaments cancelled
A number of men's basketball conference tournaments have been cancelled, including the American, Big Ten and SEC.
Confirmed cancelled basketball tournaments:
- America East
- Atlantic 10
- Big East
- Big 12
- Big Sky
- Big South (women's only, men's previously completed)
- Big Ten
- Big West
- CAA (women's only, men's previously completed)
- Conference USA
- Ivy League
- NEC (women's only, men's previously completed)
- Patriot (women's only, men's previously completed)
The Big Ten Conference announced today that it will be canceling the remainder of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, effective immediately.https://t.co/MeQMNScXKQ— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) March 12, 2020
ALERT: Based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Southeastern Conference today announced the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Nashville.— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) March 12, 2020
Where we are Thursday morning
On Wednesday, March 11, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced the decision to play all "championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance," in response to the safety and well-being of student-athletes during the uncertainty of the coronavirus.
- The decision was made based on the advice of public health officials and the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, plus discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors. It was made in the best interest of public health, including coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, student-athletes. You can see what the advisory panel is discussing and doing, as well as getting resources for the coronavirus, by clicking or tapping here.
- The first official NCAA tournament games affected will be the First Four in Dayton, Ohio, however the many conference tournaments that are ongoing have taken the same precautionary measures and will limit fan attendance to essential staff and family.
- If you order your men's or women's basketball tournaments online from an official NCAA vendor or through an official NCAA vendor, you will be refunded. No action is necessary, but you can follow up on the process by tapping or clicking here.
Where to get the latest updates on the men's and women's tournaments
We will update this page with the latest announcements from the NCAA. You can also get updates from the official accounts of the NCAA:
- Visit NCAA.org for current statements and updates
- For an understanding of everything the NCAA is doing in response to the Coronavirus, click or tap here.
- Follow the men's basketball tournament updates on Twitter: @marchmadness
- Stay up to date with women's basketball tournament updates: @ncaawbb
NCAA announces men's and women's DI basketball tournaments to be held without fans present
- NCAA President Mark Emmert announced today that upcoming NCAA championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, will be played with only essential staff and limited family members in attendance.
- The decision was made based on the advice of public health officials and the advisory panel, plus discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors. It was made in the best interest of public health, including coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, student-athletes.
- The first games impacted by this will be the First Four, scheduled for March 17-18 in Dayton, Ohio.
- The NCAA said it will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed and continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and its COVID-19 advisory panel.