The upcoming NCAA college basketball tournaments will be played in front of a limited in person audience, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Wednesday.
In a statement, Emmert said that the NCAA came to the decision based on advice from the organization’s COVID-19 advisory panel.
“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,” Emmert said. “This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes.”
The statement also says that "only essential staff and limited family attendance" will be allowed to attend games in person.
West Virginia’s men’s basketball team, ranked No. 22 nationally in the most recent AP Top 25 poll, is expected to participate in the national men’s tournament. The women’s team will likely need to win the Big 12 Tournament in order to receive an invitation.
In the men’s tournament, teams are slated to play at the following neutral site locations for the first and second rounds:
- Albany, New York
- Spokane, Washington
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Tampa, Florida
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Sacramento, California
- Cleveland, Ohio
In the women’s tournament, campus sites are scheduled to host first and second round games.
Participants in the men’s tournament will be announced on Sunday, while the women’s bracket will be announced on Monday.