Big Ten tournament canceled
Several college basketball conference tournaments have been canceled moments before tipoff, putting the NCAA Tournament at risk.
Officials with the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC conferences announced their tournaments were off, and other conferences were expected to follow suit. In New York City, the Big East Tournament began as scheduled.
In Indianapolis, Big Ten officials scrapped the tournament less than 30 minutes before Michigan and Rutgers were scheduled to play in the first game of the day.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers were originally scheduled to play the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday at 3:25 p.m. Minnesota advanced to the second round after defeating the Northwestern Wildcats 74-57 on Wednesday.
The abrupt announcement came shortly after a handful of Michigan players ran onto the floor in a mostly empty Bankers Life Fieldhouse, waving their arms and begging for cheers from the nonexistent crowd. Big Ten officials, like those in many other conferences, announced Thursday they would prohibit most fans, cheerleaders and school bands from attending games beginning Friday.
The men’s NCAA Tournament is one of the most popular events on the American sports calendar. March Madness draws hundreds of thousands of fans to arenas from coast to coast.