SEC cancels Men's Basketball Tournament amid COVID-19 concerns

Posted at 10:52 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 20:47:19-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Southeastern Conference has canceled the Men's Basketball Tournament in Nashville amid COVID-19 concerns.

Wednesday night, the SEC announced the tournament at Bridgestone Arena would be closed to the public. However, Thursday morning the conference made the decision to cancel the tournament.

The SEC says automatic full ticket refunds will be made by March 31 to fans who made purchases from SEC Office or an SEC university, or SEC Ticket Exchange. Ticket holders seeking refunds for online purchases via secondary market sites must contact those vendors directly.

The American Athletic Conference, the Big Ten, Conference USA, and the Western Athletic Conference announced Thursday that they are all canceling their men's basketball tournaments amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, media reports indicate that the Atlantic 10, the Big 12, and the Pac 12 planned to announce tournament cancellations Thursday, according to media reports.

The Big East continued playing games as scheduled in New York on Thursday.

The conferences follow in the footsteps of the Ivy League, which canceled its conference tournament earlier this week.

On Thursday night, Tennessee also postponed the state's girls and boys BlueCross Basketball Championships.


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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.