Mar 4, 2020 - Sports

NCAA doesn't rule out barring fans from March Madness due to coronavirus

The 2019 NCAA Men's Final Four National Championship. Photo: Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

An advocacy group for college athletes urged the NCAA to consider holding March Madness with no fans as a way to protect against the coronavirus, and the NCAA didn't dismiss the idea out of hand, AP reports.

The state of play: The games, which begin on March 17, still would be televised.

What they're saying: "Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned; however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly," the NCAA said.

By the numbers: Total attendance for the 2019 men's tournament was 688,753, an average of 19,132 per game.

  • Attendance for the 2019 women's tournament was 274,873, an average of 6,545 per game.

Of note: The men's Final Four will be played the first weekend in April at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and the women's Final Four is set for Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

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The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

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Montana governor says every county has opted to expand mail-in voting

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Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while more than 40 states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Apr 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy