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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Coronavirus

March Madness, remaining winter, spring championships canceled by NCAA


Head Coach Kelvin Sampson looking on at his team in a game from the 2018-19 season. Houston begins American play for the 2019-20 season on Friday against UCF. | File Photo

Head basketball coach Kelvin Sampson said before the NCAA men’s basketball tournament cancellation on Thursday afternoon his “gut feeling is that it is going to get canceled.” | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

The NCAA on Thursday canceled all remaining winter and spring sports championships, including the men’s basketball tournament.

The cancellations come as fear over the coronavirus in the sports world grew, leading to many athletic departments, including Houston, to suspend competition until further notice.

“This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities,” NCAA President Mark Emmert’s statement announcing the cancellations said in part.

Houston men’s basketball team was projected to be a seventh or eighth seed before this year’s NCAA Tournament was canceled.

Head coach Kelvin Sampson said before the cancellation his “gut feeling is that it is going to get canceled.”

UH men’s basketball program was also set to compete in the American Athletic Conference Tournament in Fort Worth before the league canceled it and subsequently suspended all competition until further notice.

The decision also directly affects Houston’s track and field team, which sent six athletes to the March 13-14 NCAA indoor championships for the meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Cougars’ men’s program finished second in the event in 2019.

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