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NCAA To Hold March Madness Tournament Without Fans Over Coronavirus Fears; Only Family Allowed

(CBS SF) -- The NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held without fans in attendance, with only essential staff, players and coaches and family member allowed to attend the March Madness games over concerns about the coronavirus spread.

"I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance," NCAA President Mark Emmert in a statement. "While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States."

The decision comes a few days after NCAA Basketball Senior Vice President Dan Gavitt said the NCAA was "definitively planning on running the tournament at all 14 sites with fans."

Stanford University was expected to host first-round women's games at Maples Pavilion with the Cardinal being Pac-12 tournament runners-up. The city of Sacramento was scheduled to host first and second round men's games at the Golden 1 Center.

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