Coronavirus live updates: NCAA Tournament canceled; NHL suspends season; MLB to halt spring training

The coronavirus is causing sports cancellations and postponements all across the world

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is causing cancellations and postponements of sporting events around the globe. As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 116,000 coronavirus cases worldwide, according to CBS News. While 64,000 people have recovered, more than 4,000 have died. In America, multiple states are under a state of emergency and some politicians and public health officials are recommending large gatherings of people — including sporting events — in coronavirus hotspots be canceled or closed to the public.

The NBA is the league in America that has been most affected. They suspended the 2019-20 season on Wednesday night after a Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. His teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive.

As college basketball’s postseason, MLB Opening Day and the NBA and NHL stretch runs approach, the coronavirus is set to have a serious effect on American sports. Abroad, soccer games in Europe are already being played in empty arenas without fans in certain countries. Here’s a breakdown of cancelations and postponements of sporting events so far:


College basketball

  • The NCAA has canceled the 2020 Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as all of its other winter season championship events.
  • Multiple conferences, including the AAC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC, have canceled their conference tournaments and Duke University announced it is suspending all athletic activities.
  • Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg was reportedly taken to the hospital after the Huskers’ Big 10 Tournament game against Indiana. The team later announced that he was discharged and does not have COVID-19.
  • The Ivy League canceled its conference tournament on Tuesday. Regular-season champions Yale (men’s) and Princeton (women’s) will earn NCAA Tournament bids. All practices and games through the remainder of the academic calendar will also be canceled.
  • In Baltimore, a Division III men’s basketball NCAA Tournament game between Yeshiva University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute was held without a crowd due to coronavirus-related fears and is believed to be the first U.S. sporting event where fans were not allowed because of virus concerns. The only people allowed to attend were players, coaches, referees, employees and media members, so the official attendance was zero.

Summer Olympics

  • The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is the biggest global sporting event of the year, and organizers have already voiced concerns that the disease could cause problems.
  • The status of the games could be up in the air as late as May.
  • Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto later clarified that the contract the IOC has with the country states the organization “has the right to cancel the games only if they are not held during 2020,” with no specific dates mentioned.
  • The IOC has reiterated that there is “full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, taking place from July 24 to Aug. 9, 2020.”
  • The flame lighting ceremony this week in Greece is happening with no fans in attendance.



  • The NHL announced it is pausing the 2019-20 season, effective immediately, on Thursday. Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league will try to resume games “as soon as it is appropriate and prudent,” and is hopeful the stoppage will not affect the Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • The Maple Leafs halted air travel for their European-based scouts, amateur scouts and professional scouts that have territory throughout North America. Team scouts that need to travel will do so by car.
  • The league closed locker room access to media members, beginning Monday.

College Football


  • The Seattle Dragons will host Los Angeles Wildcats on Sunday without fans in attendance


  • La Liga is postponing matches for at least the next 48 hours, starting on Thursday
  • Juventus announced on Wednesday that defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for coronavirus, the first notable case of a professional athlete contracting the disease.
  • The Seattle Sounders have postponed their March 21 match against Dallas.

Horse Racing

cnbssports.com / balkantimes.press

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