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NCAA tournaments won't have spectators

NCAA tournaments won't have spectators

Basketball and hockey regionals at Times Union Center
NCAA tournaments won't have spectators
UConn celebrates winning the NCAA women's basketball tournament last year at Times Union Center.
Photographer: Erica Miller

The NCAA announced late Wednesday afternoon that it will play its winter tournament championships without spectators, except for family members of the players.

In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert said: “The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes.”

The Times Union Center will be hosting back-to-back NCAA tournaments. The first and second rounds of the men's basketball tournament takes place next Thursday and Saturday. The hockey East Regional takes place March 28-29.

The NCAA tournament 68-team field will be announced Sunday. The tournament starts Tuesday with two First Four games in Dayton, Ohio.

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