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Las Vegas basketball tourneys on schedule amid coronavirus fears

The Mountain West and Pac-12 basketball tournaments are expected to go on as planned even as an advocacy group suggested that March Madness games be played without fans present because of concerns about the coronavirus.

That group, the National College Players Association, issued a statement Saturday that such a drastic step should be undertaken. “There should be a serious discussion about holding competitions without an audience present. … The NCAA and its colleges must act now, there is no time to waste,” the statement read in part.

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The Mountain West women’s tournament began Sunday at the Thomas & Mack Center, and the men’s portion opens Wednesday.

“The Mountain West has regulations/bylaws that guide any type of interruption (government shutdown, national emergency, natural disaster, air quality, travel issues, weather, etc.) to athletic competitions,” the league said in a statement. “Ultimately, we would consult with all appropriate parties to determine the appropriate plan of action with the ultimate authority invested with the commissioner.”

The Pac-12 women’s tournament opens Thursday at Mandalay Bay Events Center, and the men will be at T-Mobile beginning March 11.

“The priority of the Conference and our member schools is the health and well-being of our student-athletes, campus communities and all those who attend Pac-12 events,” the Pac-12 said in a statement. “All of us are closely monitoring the situation and seeking expert advice on what policies to implement based on the facts as we know them, which are changing daily. At this time, our Pac-12 basketball tournaments are scheduled to take place as planned, but we will continue to monitor the situation in the interest of the health and well-being of all involved.”

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter. Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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