NCAA won’t allow fans at Division III basketball tournament at Johns Hopkins amid coronavirus concerns

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Imagine an NCAA Tournament with no fans in the arenas. It isn’t so far-fetched as the United States and the rest of the world attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

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BALTIMORE, Md. – Some schools competing in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament this weekend will play in an empty arena.

Johns Hopkins University, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is hosting the first two rounds of the tournament, but fans will not be allowed to watch.

“In light of Maryland’s recently confirmed cases of COVID-19, and based on CDC guidance for large gatherings, we have determined that it is prudent to hold this tournament without spectators,” the university’s athletic website said.

The school said anyone with tickets can get a refund.

On Tuesday, the NCAA announced it established an advisory panel of medical, public health and epidemiology experts and NCAA schools to address the coronavirus.

“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” NCAA Chief Operating Officer Donald Remy said in a statement. Remy said they are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.

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