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NCAA cancels March Madness tournaments over coronavirus concerns

NCAA officials have announced that the national men's and women's basketball tournaments are canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak.
A closeup view of an official game ball with the March Madness logo during a second-round men's college basketball game between Villanova and Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

WASHINGTON — College basketball's national championship tournaments have been canceled because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Originally, the tournaments were planned to move ahead without the general public in attendance. However, the NCAA president on Thursday officially announced the games will not happen:

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.

Before the NCAA announcement, Kansas' athletics director said the school has canceled all athletic travel indefinitely. All home and away athletic events were also suspended.

The majority of people who have coronavirus will get better without any long-term effects, according to an Oregon doctor. About 80% of cases tend to be mild. In these cases, symptoms diminish over five to seven days, although people are still capable of transmitting the disease. But there are many people with a higher risk of having a more severe disease if they are diagnosed with coronavirus, including those with heart disease, diabetes, asthma and other vascular disease problems. Also, most children who get it have mild symptoms.

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