ACC Tournament canceled amid concerns over coronavirus

Jim Boeheim Duke
Feb. 1, 2020; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim speaks with reporters following a 97-88 loss to the Duke Blue Devils. Mandatory Credit: Brad Bierman, The Juice Online.

The ACC announced Thursday afternoon that it will cancel the remainder of their men’s post-season basketball tournament as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision was made as Clemson and Florida State were warming up at the Greensboro Coliseum. It was a reversal of an announcement that ACC commissioner John Swofford had made earlier in the day, stating that the tournament would go on with restricted access to fans.

“Following additional consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors, and in light of the continued conversations surrounding the fluidity of COVID-19, the Atlantic Coast Conference will immediately cancel the remainder of the 2020 ACC Tournament,” the ACC said in a statement.

» Related: Syracuse routs North Carolina to keep its slim NCAA hopes alive

“For NCAA Tournament automatic qualification purposes, Florida State will represent the league as the ACC Champion. We are disappointed for our student-athletes, schools and fans to have to make this decision; however, the overall health and safety of all involved is the priority.”

Syracuse defeated North Carolina on Wednesday evening to advance to the ACC quarterfinals. They were set to match up against Louisville on Thursday evening at 9 p.m.

With the exception of the Big East, all six of the major basketball conferences had made decisions to cancel the remainder of their conference tournaments. Other conferences including the A-10, AAC, Conference USA, the MAC and WCC have also announced similar moves.

On Wednesday, the NBA had announced it was suspending its season after a Utah Jazz player was found to be infected with the virus.

“This is uncharted territory and the health and safety of our student-athletes and institutions remains our top priority,” Swofford said in a statement. “This decision is aimed to protect from the further spread of COVID-19.”

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