Joining other conferences throughout the country, the Pac-12 canceled the rest of its men’s basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
The Pac-12 even went a step further and halted all conference athletic events for the time being.
Conference commissioner Larry Scott said in a televised interview posted to the Pac-12 website that the decision was made after consulting with NCAA president Mark Emmert and other league commissioners.
The Pac-12 had announced Wednesday that games at T-Mobile Arena would be played before a limited crowd of essential personnel with some family and friends.
“We’ve been monitoring what’s been going on in the rest of the sports world,” Scott said. “It became clear that we needed to take the next step out of an abundance of caution for the safety and welfare and the health of our student-athletes. Reluctantly, we came to this next conclusion that we should halt for the moment competition until the situation becomes a little bit more clear and not just for our basketball players but all our student-athletes.”
The conference also issued a statement that said the decision was “made in consultation with our member universities in an effort to limit the spread of the virus and in the interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes, campus personnel, working and event personnel, and all those who attend Pac-12 events.”
Pac-12 statement on men's basketball tournament, Pac-12 sport competitions & Pac-12 championship events: pic.twitter.com/HjJvki3LOT
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) March 12, 2020
Top seed and 13th-ranked Oregon was awarded the Pac-12 championship trophy and the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) March 12, 2020
Quarterfinal games were scheduled to take place Thursday with the tournament concluding Saturday.
Optimism had been high for the conference that it could send seven teams to the NCAA Tournament, but that event’s future also is in question. No announcement on the NCAA Tournament’s future had been made as of early Thursday afternoon.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.