NCAA

Big Ten among several conferences to have canceled their men's basketball tournaments

Big Ten among several conferences to have canceled their men's basketball tournaments

The biggest conferences in college sports all canceled their basketball tournaments Thursday because of the coronavirus, putting in doubt this month's NCAA Tournament -- one of the biggest events on the American sports calendar.

Within minutes of each other, the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences announced that the remainder of their tournaments would not be played. All were preparing to play games in large arenas across the country, but with few people in the buildings.

The NCAA said Wednesday that it planned to play its men's and women's tournament games that start next week with restricted access for the general public. The NCAA said only essential staff and limited family members would be allowed to attend the games.

There was no immediate word from the NCAA if it also planned to scrap its celebrated men's basketball tournament. The NCAA Tournament generates more than $900 million dollars for the association and its hundreds of member schools.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said it's "hard to tell right now whether there will be an NCAA Tournament to play in" while announcing the Big 12 was shutting it down.

Texas and Texas Tech were going through pregame warmups and the handful of close family and friends were already in the stands Thursday when the teams were pulled off the court 40 minutes before tip-off.

"I think this is emblematic of how our country will be responding to a very unusual set of circumstances," Bowlsy said. “I feel good that we made the right decision for the right reasons.”

Following the NCAA's lead Wednesday, most college conferences announced that their basketball tournaments would be conducted with limited fan access the rest of the week. By Thursday, after the NBA suspended its season Wednesday night, they decided not to play at all.

Some took a little longer than others. The Big East started its second-round game between top-seeded Creighton and St. John's at Madison Square Garden and not until halftime was the tournament called off.

As the Bluejays and Red Storm were playing, a few subway stops away at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Atlantic-10 was holding a news conference to called off its tournament.

Also, canceling tournaments were the American Athletic Conference in Fort Wort, Texas; the Sun Belt in New Orleans; the Western Athletic Conference in Anaheim, California; and the Mid-American Conference in Cleveland at an arena that is home to the NBA's Cavaliers and is scheduled to be the site of NCAA men's tournament games next week.

The semifinals and finals of the Sun Belt men's and women's tournaments were set to be played Saturday at the Smoothie King Center, where the NBA's Pelicans play and the site of this year's women's Final Four.

The SEC also announced the suspension of regular-season competition for teams in all sports on campuses as well as SEC championship events until March 30.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the virus.

The Big Ten was playing in Indianapolis; the SEC in Nashville, Tennessee; the Big 12 in Kansas City, Missouri; the Pac-12 in Las Vegas; and the ACC in Greensboro, North Carolina, at another arena set to host NCAA men's first- and second-round games next week.

At the ACC, Florida State and Clemson were on the floor warming up for the first game of a scheduled quadrupleheader when the announcement came down that no games would be played.

Top seed Florida State was then awarded the league's championship trophy in an odd ceremony with commissioner John Swofford in a mostly empty arena.

This was a very different kind of March Madness.

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Navy-Notre Dame to move 2020 matchup from Ireland

Navy-Notre Dame to move 2020 matchup from Ireland

Navy and Notre Dame will no longer hold the 94th edition of their rivalry in Dublin, Ireland this year. 

Navy football announced the location change on Tuesday. The game will ideally be played at the Midshipmen's home stadium, the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md, the release stated.  

Moving the game is due to concerns surrounding travel during the coronavirus pandemic. The Naval Academy, Notre Dame and the Irish government determined postponing their game at Aviva Stadium would be the best interests of all parties. 

The historic game will still be played this year, likely on Labor Day weekend and broadcast on ESPN or ABC. 

"We are obviously disappointed not to be traveling to Ireland this August," Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk said.  "But, as expected, our priority must be ensuring the health and safety of all involved.  I am expecting that we will still be able to play Notre Dame as our season opener, but there is still much to be determined by health officials and those that govern college football at large.  Once we have a definitive plan in place, we will announce the specifics pertaining to the game." 

"I am extremely grateful to all that were involved in the planning of our game in Aviva Stadium, especially John Anthony and Padraic O'Kane who created what would have been another extraordinary event in Dublin.  I realize many are disappointed and were looking forward to the spectacle of this event and a visit to the Emerald Isle, but I do know there is a complete understanding of why it's in our best interests to make every effort to relocate the game," he added.

This was set to be the third time that the longest continuous intersectional rivalry was to play in Ireland. Notre Dame won both previous contests in 1996 and 2012, although the Fighting Irish vacated their 2012 victory. The two programs look to return to Ireland in the coming years.

Notre Dame has won the rivalry game each of the past three seasons. The Fighting Irish hold a 77–13–1 lead in the all-time series.

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Maryland among top five for Utah transfer Both Gach, if he withdraws from NBA Draft

Maryland among top five for Utah transfer Both Gach, if he withdraws from NBA Draft

Maryland basketball is among Utah transfer Both Gach's final five schools, he announced via Twitter on Tuesday.

Creighton, Iowa State, Auburn and Minnesota are the other four teams on his list. Gach, who entered his name into the transfer portal in May after his sophomore season at Utah, averaged 10.7 points and 3.6 rebounds during the 2019-20 season. 

Should Gach choose Maryland, the 6-foot-7 guard could immediately help a Terps roster that has lost a majority of its primary ball handlers and missed out on several transfers and recruits. Additionally, his size would allow him to potentially play the three or four as well, that is if he is granted immediate eligibility. 

However, the Terps aren't just competing with four other college programs for Gach, but the NBA as well. Gach had entered his name into the NBA Draft in early April. Typically by this time, players would either withdraw and maintain eligibility or continue on to the pros. Due to the coronavirus pandemic pausing the NBA season, things are a little different for 2020. The deadline for players to withdraw is undetermined at this time and will likely be influenced by the league's date of resumption.

Until that happens, it could be a waiting game between Gach, the Terps and other teams involved in his final decision.

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