Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register
Published 7:29 p.m. ET March 11, 2020
SportsPulse: With the increased spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, across the country the NCAA made the historic decision to have March Madness without fans attending the games. A decision that will create some eerie and surreal scenes in the coming weeks.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Big 12 Conference is closing its doors to the general public for the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments beginning with Thursday’s games.
However, fans were allowed to attend Wednesday night’s games at the Sprint Center for the start of the men’s tournament. Those matchups included Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State and Kansas State facing Texas Christian University.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told reporters prior to Wednesday’s games that there would be “limited access” for the men’s and women’s tournaments this week in Kansas City. The decision came following the NCAA’s decision not to allow fans at games due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Bowlsby, who conducted a news conference inside the Sprint Center less than an hour before Wednesday’s games, said 125 tickets will be provided to teams. Arenas will be cleared between games. Cheerleaders, band members and dance team members won’t be allowed in the building.
“The attempt is to minimize the number of people that are here,” Bowlsby said.