Big Ten Announces Tournament Will “Continue To Be Held As Scheduled” With Spectators

By Colin Hass-Hill on March 11, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Big Ten
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Less than three hours before the first game tips off, the Big Ten announced its men's basketball tournament in Indianapolis will go on despite concerns about the coronavirus.

"At this time the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will continue to be held as scheduled," the Big Ten said in a statement.

The conference tournament begins on Wednesday afternoon with a pair of games. Ohio State opens play as a No. 7 seed against No. 10-seeded Purdue at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Fans and media will be allowed to attend the games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. However, instead of each locker room being open to reporters for 20 minutes following each game, interviews will take place at "larger designated areas," per the conference.

"The Big Ten Conference’s main priority is to ensure the safety of our students, coaches, administrators, event staff, fans and media as we continue to monitor all relevant information on the COVID-19 virus," the Big Ten said in a statement. "We will continue to consult with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Marion County Public Health Department and the NCAA leading up to and during the event to implement best practices and provide the most current information."

On Wednesday afternoon before the Big Ten's announcement, head coach Chris Holtmann called the situation "fluid." He said the Buckeyes do not have any plans to take unnatural precautions during their trip to Indianapolis this week, though he noted that could change since he has been frequently updated with new information.

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