KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Disappointed fans are figuring out their next steps after the Big 12 announced Thursday that the remainder of the tournament had been canceled.
Many fans traveled several hours to Kansas City for the games and told 41 Action News they were in the process of planning their trips back home.
“It’s just wild. It like redefines March Madness, really. I never would have thought this would happen but, huge bummer," Ryan Chilcoat said.
A number of fans, like Chilcoat, had just arrived in Kansas City before the Big 12's first announcement came Wednesday, limiting fan access into the Sprint Center.
“I live in Arkansas now, so not a far drive but yeah, would have been nice to know earlier because I don’t think I would have made the trip," Kevin Toller said.
Less than 24 hours later, the Big 12 Tournament was canceled, as well as all of the fan events surrounding it.
“I think they finally figured out that just canceling and not letting people in — the people were still going to congregate, the same thing was going to happen, and they kind of went ahead and took the next steps," Toller said.
Wednesday, Oklahoma State defeated Iowa State and Kansas State upset TCU. Fans told 41 Action News they were hoping to keep that going, even if it meant watching the games on TV.
“We are going to miss the upset now, and I hate it for our players because they’re the ones that are ultimately disappointed. Our disappointment is that we’re here, but they didn’t get to play and the seniors, this would have been their last Big 12 Tournament so I feel really bad for our basketball players," DeAnn Tracy said.
While fans are disappointed the games won't go on, many agree the Big 12 made the right call. However, what comes next for fans is still up in the air.
“We took a week's vacation to do this. We planned this last November like we do every year, so now we’re scrambling for what we want to do because we do come every year and we’ve done the things we want to do, so now we’ve got to find something. That, or go home," Terry Tracy said.