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March Madness & Big 12 Conference tournament canceled in response to COVID-19 pandemic (UPDATE)

The league joins with the other Power 5 conferences in canceling their tournament to help prevent the spread of the virus

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Kansas State v Kansas William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (5:50 PM) - The NCAA has officially cancelled all winter and spring championships including March Madness (the NCAA tournament and NIT) and the College World Series.

The Big 12 Conference has announced that based on the latest developments and the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the conference has canceled the remainder of the 2020 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Kansas City and the Women’s Basketball Tournament in Oklahoma City, which was set to tip off today.

The call to cancel the tournament came just moments before the Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Red Raiders were set to tip off at Noon ET. The decision follows ongoing actions across the sports world to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which was labeled a pandemic Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

As of the time of writing, the NCAA Tournament is still scheduled to tip-off next week, although the NCAA has already announced the games will be played without fans in attendance to help prevent the spread of the virus.