March Madness Cancelled Due to Coronavirus
The NCAA cancelled the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments on Thursday due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The move came on the heels of conferences around the country cancelling their respective tournaments.
When will NCAA tournament 2020 reschedule again?
The 2020 March Madness is postponed due to Coronavirus pandemic. NCAA tournament update schedule will be available here when it set again.
Initially, conferences like the Big Ten were going to continue tournament play without fans. After consideration though, all conferences that had not concluded their tournaments decided to cancel.
The move is unprecedented as the annual tournament, known as March Madness, has run continuously since its inception in 1939. Not even World War II cancelled the event back in the 1940s.
The Ivy League was the first to cancel its end-of-season conference tournaments. The league also cancelled all of its spring sports. The NCAA followed by cancelling all spring sports championships, including hockey and wrestling. In total, 19 NCAA sports’ titles were called off.
The NCAA tournament has grown in its size, stature, and popularity since the first one was played in 1939. The three-week event generates roughly a billion dollars in revenue for the NCAA and its member institutions. The bulk of that revenue comes from a television contract that pays the NCAA roughly $800 million per year.
Power conference schools like those in the Big Ten or SEC will not be affected as much as the smaller, mid-major schools. When Loyola-Chicago advanced to the Final Four in 2017, the Ramblers earned their school and other Missouri Valley Conference members nearly a million dollars in additional revenue.
The cancellation also affects schools like East Tennessee State, which finished 30-4 and won the Southern Conference tournament. The Buccaneers had earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, but the team’s five seniors watched helplessly as their careers were ended by the virus pandemic.
There was simply no way the NCAA could postpone the tournament and hold it at a later date. Coordinating dates with venues, travel time, and being cognizant of the academic calendar of NCAA member schools was simply too much. NCAA president Mark Emmert initially planned to hold the tournament with fans limited to essential staff and families. Ultimately in the name of safety, Emmert made the decision to cancel the tournament for the first time in history.