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Big Ten Basketball Tournament Canceled Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

The Big Ten announced that its annual men’s basketball tournament has been canceled as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus on Thursday.

The tournament was previously slated to be played without fans in attendance beginning on Thursday. The same restriction also applies to all upcoming winter and spring Big Ten competitions.

“The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the conference said in a press release.

Penn State was set to play Indiana on Thursday night in the second round of the conference tournament. The Nittany Lions entered the tournament as a six-seed, just missing the double-bye due to a tough stretch of losses towards the end of the season.

Today’s cancelation marks the first time the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament has been canceled since it was first held in 1998.

Nebraska, which lost to Indiana in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday, was quarantined in its locker room for a short time after head coach Fred Hoiberg fell ill on the bench during the game. The Huskers’ players were reportedly allowed to leave the locker room at approximately 11:45 p.m. eastern time.

The Big Ten joins the Ivy League as one of many conferences to outright cancel its tournaments. Most other conferences, including the SEC, Big 12, and AAC, have canceled their postseason tournaments as precautionary measures. The NBA has also suspended its season following a confirmed report that a player on the Utah Jazz preliminary tested positive for the coronavirus.

Penn State is also restricting fan access for its home sporting events from now until April 3, and the university will hold all classes online until at least April 6.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected].

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