Big 12 Championship tournament canceled due to Coronavirus pandemic concerns

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Big 12 has canceled its conference tournament, effective immediately.

The decision was made Thursday morning at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and was announced shortly after 11 a.m. by commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

Bowlsby said during the press conference that no players or staff had tested positive for the virus to his knowledge, later clarifying that he was not aware of anyone who had been tested yet.

He did add that the league hadn’t heard from any coaches or players who did not want to play.

Almost all conference tournaments across college basketball have been canceled, save for the Big East, which was still playing at press time. There is no word yet on the future of this year’s NCAA tournament.

“Hard to tell at this point if there’s going to be an NCAA tournament to play in or if it will look different than the March Madness we’ve come to know,” Bowlsby said.

He also said he’s not sure of the NCAA’s timeline to make a decision on its tournament.

On Wednesday, just before the start of the conference tournament Bowlsby announced that the event was closed to the public starting with Thursday’s games. Texas Tech and Texas, which were scheduled to be the first teams to play on Thursday, took the floor at the Sprint Center to warm up, but were pulled off before 11:00.

According to a source, all spring sports at Kansas have been suspended indefinitely with all travel for Kansas Athletics also suspended.

Both Kansas and Kansas State were scheduled to play on Thursday, with two other games on the slate as well. The semifinals and final for the event were set for Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The decision to cancel the Big 12 tournament and tournaments around the country come in the wake of other cancellations across the sports world. The NBA suspended its season on Wednesday, while multiple reports on Thursday indicate Major League Baseball is planning to suspend spring training.