Big Ten Basketball Tournament To Be Held As Scheduled With Fans

Update, 6:45 p.m.: The Big Ten issued a statement Wednesday evening announcing that the conference’s men’s basketball tournament will be “limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams” beginning Thursday, March 12.

The conference also stated all upcoming winter and spring tournaments and competitions will be limited to the same groups “to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media” as the coronavirus pandemic continually develops.

You can read the Big Ten’s full updated statement here.

Original Story: The Big Ten announced that its annual basketball tournament will be held as scheduled amid the current coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday.

Fans and spectators will still be allowed to attend the tournament’s 13 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

As the conference’s No. 6 seed, Penn State men’s basketball earned a first-round bye and will open the tournament 25 minutes after Purdue and Ohio State’s quarterfinal contest ends. The Boilermakers and Buckeyes are currently slated to tip off at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and the Nittany Lions will take on the winner of tonight’s Nebraska-Indiana game.

Other conferences and major sports entities have either closed off games to fans or canceled them entirely — including Penn State. All sporting events hosted by Penn State from Wednesday, March 11 until Friday, April 3 will be played without fans in attendance. Players/coaches/staffers, other essential personnel, members of the media, and recruits will be the only people allowed into home games during that period of time.

Although fans will be allowed into this week’s Big Ten tournament games, the conference is changing some of its media procedures for the week. Instead of allowing members of the media into the teams’ locker rooms to interview players and coaches, all press conferences and briefings will be held in “larger designated areas” of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Penn State’s players, coaches, and staff touched down in Indiana earlier on Wednesday, according to the team’s official Twitter account. If you aren’t in Indianapolis to watch the games, you’ll be able to catch the Nittany Lions’ quarterfinal on the Big Ten Network.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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