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NCAA Tournament to be played without fans due to coronavirus

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NCAA East Regional Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

If you were hoping to travel with the Arizona Wildcats men’s team to the NCAA Tournament, start making other plans.

In lieu of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA announced Wednesday that only “essential personnel and limited family attendance” will be able to attend tournament games.

This also means fans will not be able to be in attendance when the women’s team hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in McKale Center next week, a bummer for the upstart program.

Here is the full statement from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel:

The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans.

Here are some reactions to the NCAA’s announcement from people affiliated with the UA (it will be updated):