Big 12 Tournament canceled as concerns mount over coronavirus

Posted at 10:59 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 12:44:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City has been canceled as concerns continue to mount over the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Commissioner Bog Bowlsby said Thursday that he never heard from any players who didn't want to play because of the risks, but said the virus is at the top of student-athletes' minds.

Bowlsby met with athletic directors from each of the Big 12 schools ahead of the cancellation. He said there was a collective feeling of sadness over the decision.

The SEC and Big Ten basketball tournaments also were canceled on Thursday.

The NCAA on Wednesday announced that attendance would be limited at the upcoming tournaments, set to begin next week. The Big 12 Tournament had planned to follow suit before its cancellation.

No cases have yet been confirmed in Jackson County. Johnson County officials said Thursday that three new "presumptive-positive" cases had been identified there, bringing the total in the county to four.

On Thursday morning, Mayor Quinton Lucas issued a state of emergency for the city, banning events of more than 1,000 people for at least the next 21 days.