The Big Ten is following the NCAA's lead.
It has reversed course from its original plan of continuing to hold the men's basketball tournament "as scheduled."
Instead, due to coronavirus concerns, the conference announced on Wednesday evening, all Big Ten men's basketball tournament games, beginning on Thursday, will be "limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams."
Big Ten Conference Statement:https://t.co/NzJd0o9YPM— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) March 11, 2020
Spectators are allowed to watch the two games at Indianapolis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night before the restrictions get enacted. Those who bought tickets for following games "should direct any ticket refund inquiries to the original point of purchase," the conference said.
The Big Ten also announced that all Big Ten winter and spring sports competitions – including tournaments and championships – will also be "limited to student-athletes, coaches, event staff, essential team and Conference staff, TV network partners, credentialed media, and immediate family members of the participating teams."
"The main priority of the Big Ten Conference is to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all relevant information on the COVID-19 virus on a daily basis," the Big Ten said in a statement.
Hours before the Big Ten decided to bar fans from attending games, the NCAA announced it would not have any fans at tournament games throughout March Madness.
Ohio State opens its play in the Big Ten tournament on Thursday as the No. 7 seed against 10th-seeded Purdue. The game will tip off at 6:30 p.m.
This is a breaking story that will be updated.