Ohio to Issue Order Banning Fans from NCAA Tournament's First Four Games, More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2020

Spectators watch from the stands during the first half of a First Four game of the NCAA college basketball tournament between Temple and Belmont, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he will issue an order on large gatherings that includes banning fans from attending NCAA tournament games within the state out of concern over the coronavirus, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post

The First Four is scheduled to take place on March 17-18 in Dayton, Ohio, while Cleveland is also expected to host first- and second-round games on March 20 and 22.

"This seems difficult for people," DeWine said, per Kilgore. "But we know what's coming. We know what's around the corner. ... Everything looks the same, but it's really not."

There have been 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the United States as of Wednesday, leading to 31 deaths, per CNN.com.

Many across college basketball have made adjustments in response to the disease, including the Ivy League canceling its men's and women's tournaments. 

Other conferences have decided to play games without spectators.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner announced Tuesday all city-related events will be canceled or postponed in March, per Len Cannon of KHOU, which presumably includes the South Regional finals in the NCAA tournament.

The NCAA has still not made any official changes to the tournament, although it announced Tuesday it will have a decision in the "coming days."