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NCAA basketball games to be played without spectators

The NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball tournament games will be played without the general public, the president of the NCAA announced Wednesday.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said the games will be played with essential staff and limited family attendance.

The decision comes as COVID-19 cases in the US increase on a daily basis.

Here is Emmert's full statement:

The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. 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. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.

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