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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.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

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